By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
Two of Cliff Brown’s most promising horses from the past season, Trading Post and In All His Glory, share something in common as they line up in the two Class 4 races over 1200m on Saturday – both four-year-olds are resuming from a much-needed short break which their trainer hope will go some way in relaunching them on a successful 2021 campaign.
A former one-from-one winner in Adelaide when successful at his only start as Salton Sea in a 1000m race at Morphettville in November 2019, Trading Post was arguably the one with more upsides even if he had only a handful of starts at Kranji.
Racegoers were so taken by his debut win and fast-finishing third in Class 4 company in only two starts that he was touted as one of the dark horses in last year’s Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) in September.
Unfortunately, the son of Fighting Sun found the competition a bit rich in the last Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, though he was not totally disgraced in sixth place behind superstar stablemate Inferno.
On the other hand, In All His Glory began his local career as an unraced three-year-old and probably took a bit longer to warm up, but once the son of All Too Hard hit the ground running, he reeled off two wins in quickfire succession.
However, he also fired blanks at his last outing in a Class 4 race over the mile in October.
Brown decided both horses had had enough and a break until the new season would do them a world of good.
Trading Post runs in the Division 2 race while In All His Glory is entered in the Division 1 race, both events carrying a purse of $50,000. With Trading Post rated higher on 67, he shares the topweight of 59kgs with Mr Hooper while In All His Glory carries two-and-a-half kilos less.
“Trading Post is a nice horse, but where he will get, I don’t know,” said Brown who has booked A’Isisuhairi Kasim on the Forever Lucky Stable-owned galloper.
“He trialled well last Thursday (December 31 when third to Universal Empire), but 59kgs won’t make it easy for him. The Guineas came up too early for him, but he ran well enough.
“He needed a break and we were supposed to get him ready for the four-year-old series this year, but I’m not sure if it’s still on. Whatever he does on Saturday, that race will bring him on.
“In All His Glory is also a very nice horse, but I think he has had enough at his last run. He had every chance but when he was presented for the run, he could not go on with it.
“That run was a case where either he improves or he goes for a rest, and he went for a rest.
“He will be first-up in the other Class 4 race. He had only one trial and he went okay.”
In All His Glory ran last in a barrier trial on Christmas Eve, but only around 3 ½ lengths off the winner Chocante, with Brown’s new jockey Oscar Chavez on board.
When the Panamanian-born jockey was hired as Brown’s senior track rider, he was still waiting for the outcome of his application for a Singapore-based Malayan Racing Association jockey’s licence after not being renewed since 2017. He has since been granted a six-month licence at the end of November 2020, alongside another comeback kid, Troy See.
A winner of more than 1,200 races in a career spanning 27 years in Singapore, Chavez made his Kranji reappearance last Sunday, taking three of his seven rides for Brown, but unfortunately, had only one third to show for, aboard Gold Reward for Brown.
The Australian handler was not making much of the winless start (he didn’t saddle any winner at the first meeting either), confident the new association will soon bear fruit.
“Oscar came up to me a few months ago, asking if he could come and ride for me in the morning. I said sure right away,” said Brown.
“He’s a great guy, and hopefully, we have some success together.”