Unfancied, yes, but the Pat Shaw trained four-year-old colt - Mr Line - secured victory in Singapore’s second-richest race yesterday, the Singapore Gold Cup. Whilst the race took place in South East Asia and the colt was born of Argentinian blood, the trainer was South African, and so was the jockey - Jeff Lloyd - who had been granted a temporary license to ride in Singapore for the Steward’s Cup and Singapore Gold Cup meetings.
A hemisphere North he may have been but the 5-time South African Champion jockey was still well known to Singapore racegoers having won on 14 occasions and placed 35 times during his three-month stint from 10 December 2003 to 10 March 2004.
“That was great! It’s a dream come true for me. I got a little further back than they wanted but from the wide gate I was a bit deep, so I decided just to ride him quietly from there,” reported the delighted Lloyd after the race.
“He really quickened though at the finish. He’s a very promising horse and he’ll go far. Patrick rang me and said ‘I’ve got a good young horse in the Gold Cup’ and that was enough for me to get on a plane and fly over. What a great feeling this is!”
“A great run and a great ride. I was always confident with the light tweight and the horse has been working so well,” said trainer, Patrick Shaw, who secured a race quinella with War Horn. “War Horn ran terrific as well, they both did!”
Laurie Laxon (who campaigned Big Easy, Magnum Force and My Royal Captain in Dubai last season) had a third with Big Easy.
Fourth was another of Laxon’s runners - Raul - who was competing in his third Gold Cup after winning in 2004 and running 7th in 2005.
Patrick Shaw has confirmed that he will now aim Mr Line for a Dubai campaign. “I would have to nominate him for one of the two staying races in Dubai next March. He relaxes in his races and has a brilliant turn of foot. He’s never run over that distance before and he has run so well today, Dubai is definitely his goal.”
Speaking of Dubai, Mike de Kock’s website recently updated the progress of all his runners for the 2007 Dubai International Carnival. Click on the the following URL for all the details.