Countofmontecristo bows out of Kranji along with many Singh horses

Countofmontecristo has bowed out of Kranji.

By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

Top sprinter-miler Countofmontecristo has run his last race in Singapore.

Owner Joe Singh has decided to give his banner horse a break in Australia in the wake of his unplaced run in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1800m) on Saturday with a view to keeping him in training towards the Dubai riches next year.

This is not the first time overseas plans are made for the multiple-Group-winning seven-year-old son of Echoes Of Heaven. Last year in June, he was all set to pursue his racing career in Australia due to limited opportunities in Singapore, according to Singh, but he in the end stayed put after Singh had a last-minute change of heart.

Countofmontecristo (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) at his last feature win in the Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) in February.

The movie-making businessman sounded like he would not change the script this time.

The decision came shortly after Countofmontecristo finished seventh to Top Knight in a wet QEII Cup, which is the second Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series.

In sharp contrast, at his previous start in the first Leg, the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1600m) on a track rated as good, Countofmontecristo loomed as a major threat only to settle for third place, beaten narrowly by Aramaayo a head away.

Singh believed there was still plenty of ticker left in his champion, but which he intended to test elsewhere. As a matter of fact, Countofmontecristo is not the only one of his big team of horses at Kranji to head for other skies.

“It’s confirmed. Countofmontecristo is going for a break in Sydney, along with Yabadabadoo,” he said.

“The ground didn’t suit Countofmontecristo on Saturday, and he is entitled to a well-deserved break in a paddock.

“After the break, he will be put back in training, and I’ll then look at sending him to Dubai in March. Hopefully, Yabadabadoo can also follow him.

“I’ve also sent my two other Group horses, Eye Guy and Gingerella (both along with the first two were nominated but not selected for this year’s Dubai World Cup races, which were cancelled due to COVID-19, anyway) to Malaysia, and it’s the same thing, I also hope to see them race overseas eventually.

“Out of my 18 horses, 15 are leaving. Only El Chapo, Big Bad Mama and Bruce Alnaughty are left at Kranji.

“Those who have left are definitely not coming back to Kranji. Countofmontecristo still has a few years of racing in him, his future lies overseas, and he also needs a stable jockey.”

Singh, who also has racing interests in Perth, has not finalised his choice of trainer for Countofmontecristo at this stage. In the past, he sent Zip A Dee Doo Dah to Newcastle trainer Kris Lees who saddled the Cecconi gelding to two wins, including the Kempsey Cup in 2018.

Besides Countofmontecristo, Singh is also better remembered for his former Singapore champion three-year-old Gingerbread Man, who is now a stallion standing at Yarradale Stud in Perth.

Countofmontecristo bows out of Singapore the proud holder of a record of 10 wins (1200m to 1600m) and 13 placings in 34 starts for prizemoney in excess of $2.1 million. As many as 17 jockeys have partnered him, with jockey Glen Boss the most successful on five wins.

While five trophies sits on his sideboard namely three Group 2s (2017 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic, 2019 Merlion Trophy and 2020 Chairman’s Trophy) and two Group 3s (2017 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint and 2017 Jumbo Jet Trophy), he was never able to break his Group 1 hoodoo, notching up five thirds as his best efforts, with the one to Mr Clint in last year’s Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) arguably his closest, followed by this year’s Kranji Mile (1600m) and Raffles Cup, both won by Aramaayo.

The other accolade he earned in his four seasons at Kranji was the Singapore Champion Three-Year-Old gong in 2017.

All his successes were achieved under the care of trainer Michael Clements who was replaced by champion trainer Mark Walker at his last three starts for two thirds.

Author: iRace