Friday Flash – 23rd September 2022

Headline News;

Fortuna scores a double 17th September – NAVALHA at Riccarton and ENTERTAINER in SingaporeMark Walker carrying all before him in the new season with 33 winners as of 21 Sept – Strike Rate of 5.09
Fortuna has six runners on Saturday –  two in NZ and four in SingaporeNew Zealand – Ruakaka

MOHAWK BRAVE contests the R75 1200 – Race 5 @3.13pm – Stable Apprentice Parmar Singh claiming 3kgs to ride from Barrier 7 on a Soft 5 track. Classy type who won 3 times as a 3yo and ran 4th in the G1 Levin Classic – Bold 4th when resuming at Taupo 24th August. Well placed here and is a top 3 chance

SOPRANO SUPREME runs in the R75 1600 – Race 8 @ 4.58pm – Opie Bosson to ride. Genuine staying type who finished off strongly 1400m Te Rapa 27th August. Is looking for more ground but 1600m will suit well 2nd up – Can feature in the first 3 in this


TRIDENT contests the Class 4 1400m Turf – Race 8 @ 3.30pm Singapore Time (7.30pm NZT) and will be ridden by Premiership leading jockey, Manoel Nunes from Barrier 2. Three Singapore starts for a 2nd and two wins says it all for this 4yo son of Deep Field. Good draw, top rider, but takes on older more experienced runners in what is a good form race – needs to step up to this challenge, but is more than capable of doing so

HADEER contests the Class 3 1200m Turf – Race 10 @ 4.30pm Singapore Time (8.30pm NZT) and will be ridden by Jake Bayliss  from Barrier 1. Has not won for 12 months almost to the day after winning 3 in a row in the Spring of 2021 – now back to a rating where he can win again, strong rider, great draw. Represents a top 3 chance in this

Here is what the Singapore Turf Club tipsters say about this race

1st Pick: WEALTH ELITE (11)
Weighted incredibly well here to run a great race. Has been running good times lately and is coming out of race where he couldn’t get any clear running at a crucial stage.
2nd Pick: FROM THE NAVY (7)
Trialed the house down Tuesday morning under a hold. Looks to be going well enough to make an impression here this weekend.
3rd Pick: QUARTER BACK (1)
Ran a strong second to Illustrious after being caught wide throughout. That form should hold up, top three hope with a nice claim to assist him this weekend.
4th Pick: HADEER (4)
His best would see him winning a race like this comfortably however, he seems to have been off his game a little the last two starts. Hopefully he can turn it around this weekend at his favorite track and distance with the ace draw.

BRUTUS runs in the Class 4 1200m Turf – Race 12 @ 5.30pm Singapore Time (9.30pm NZT) and will be ridden by leading Singapore apprentice, Fadzli Yusoff, claiming 2kgs, from an outside barrier. A five time winner in Singapore, he has been winless since March, but has been close up recent starts – back to a Rating where he can win but has a horror draw to overcome

DECEPTION also runs in the Class 4 1200m Turf – Race 12 @ 5.30pm Singapore Time (9.30pm NZT) and will be ridden by Singapore apprentice, Simon Kok, claiming 1kg, from barrier 9. This beautifully bred son of I Am Invincible had had 12 starts in Singapore for just one win, but rarely runs a bad race – has had 2 recent starts in Group Company, where he ran well but without luck – resumed from a break last start on the Poly running 5th but will be well suited going back to the Turf here – represents a top 3 chance here

Fortuna Track work – Matamata

Monday  19th September

Mohawk Brave (R Khan) worked over 1000 metres in 1.01.32, home in 36.76.

Soprano Supreme (L MacNab) worked over 1200 metres 1.02.2, home in 36.64.

Fortuna Track work – Singapore

Saturday  17th September

Brutus (Jerlyn) – 1000/600 38; Deception (Aslam) – 1000/600 37.5; Our Final Offer (Aslam) – 1000 40; Kermajack (Louis) – 800/600 38

Tuesday  20th September

Brutus (Jerlyn) – 800/600 38.5; Kermajack (Jerlyn) – 800/600 37; Olympia (Jamil) – 800/600 38; 38; Trident (Nunes) – 800/600 39; Deception (Simon) – 800/600 40.5;

Other News

Fortuna scores a double 17th September – NAVALHA at Riccarton and ENTERTAINER in Singapore – both very satisfying wins – Navalha had not greeted the judge in eighteen months and after winning seven times in 12 months in Singapore, Entertainer had struggled with his form since last winning in January 2022

See the Navalha story below; 

NAVALHA wins at Riccarton 17th September 2022
Published 18 September 2022

Given a gun ride by Opie BossonNAVALHA, the five year old gelding by Sebring out of Afiado (Encosta De Lago) won the $30,000 Rating 65 1200 metres on Saturday at Riccarton. After running home strongly for third when resuming in the Rating 65 1300 metres on 24 August at Taupo, Navalha was ideally placed to rate an each-way chance and showed appreciation for the course at his first attempt. In a trailing position near the rail during the run, Bosson angled Navalha into daylight on straightening at the 400m and he went on to score dominantly bringing up his 3rd career win. In the race sponsored by NZB Ready To Run Sale Trainers Series, Navalha ran 1200 metres in 1:10.9 on Soft6 footing and drifted in betting to pay $3.40 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote.

Click HERE to see the race replay

“It was a very good ride and great win by Navalha,” said trainer Mark Walker“He’s a horse that’s had niggling issues with feet and different things, but good to get another win and it won’t be his last now that he’s striding out nicely.”

“Navalha”  – winning at Riccarton 17th September 2022 – Opie Bosson aboard

NAVALHA won his first two races when he first came to New Zealand from Australia in the 2020/21 season, but then ran into a series of setbacks which curtailed his racing programme, resulting in just five race day starts during the 2021/22 season for minor placings only.

Fortuna Racing’s Director John Galvin was at New Plymouth races on the day, but was cheering his charge home via the big screen at that venue. “That was extremely satisfying to watch – there is no question that Navalha is a telented galloper, but soundness issues have conspired against him, however Mark has been very patient with him and full kudos to Mark for deciding to send the horse to Riccarton as he does appreciate the better tracks and Mark was also of the view that he would be well suited by the Riccarton chute. It was a super ride by Opie as well.”

NAVALHA (which means “Razor” in Portuguese), a 3yo Gelding by Sebring out of the Encosta de Lago Mare, Afiado, was acquired by John Galvin on the recommendation of Mark Walker, for just A$27,500 from the Inglis Digital Sale in July 2020 after having been originally acquired by his previous owners for A$475k as a yearling.

Navalha is raced by the Fortuna Navalha Syndicate, an ownership group of 57 individuals and was strapped by Hannah Lowry.

And the Entertainer story here:

ENTERTAINER wins in Singapore – 17th September 2022 – his 8th career win

Published 18 September 2022
ENTERTAINER (5yo Gelding by Zoustar out of Laughing) bought up his 8th career win in Singapore when producing a very stylish victory in the Class 3 1000m Polytrack event at Singaore’s Kranji racetrack in the hands of Singapore’s leading apprentice, Fadzli Yusoff. Away nicely, Yusoff took his charge to an uncontested lead and on turning for home was full of running. However at the 3oom mark, a stern challenge emerged in the form of Darc Bounty with Louie Beuzelin aboard, making a rails run. This runner surged past Entertainer on the inside putting half a length on him, but “Joker” (as he is known around the stable) still had a bit in reserve and under a vigorous ride from Yusoff, had the last laugh going to the line with his head in front of Darc Bounty.

Click HERE to see the race replay

Entertainer makes it 8 wins in Singapore – 17th September 2022

Trainer Donna Logan, for whom Entertainer’s win gave her a double on the day and her 47th win for the season was over the moon “ That was just sensatioinal to watch, I thought we were beaten, but the horse showed great courage to fight back and it was a super, super ride by Yusoff, Congrats to John Galvin and his big crew of Owners – the Fortuna Stable here in Singapore is going great guns – that is there 16th win for the 2022 season”

Fortuna Director, John Galvin, attending the race day at New Plymouth in New Zealand, was on a flight to Auckland when the race was run. “We landed about 15 minutes after the race was run, I turned my phone on, saw the result and then watched the replay and could hardly believe what I was seeing – I was sure we were going to run a brave 2nd but Joker found another gear – and gee, hasn’t Yusoff come on with his riding skills in 2022 – he handled the horse beautifully. And full kudos to Donna and her team – they do an incredibly professional job for us”

John also paid tribute to Blake Shinn, who had ridden Entertainer into 2nd place on the 18th of August, turning around a long run of indifferent form by the horse. “It’s no secret that we were scratching our heads with this horse – after winning so well in January, his next few runs were very out of character, but during Blake’s stint in Singapore, he deduced that Joker was getting too worked up pre race and suggested we apply a set of ear muffs – they really worked the oracle when Blake rode him into a close up 2nd placing in August and it was apparent yesterday, how well the horse has responded to the gear change.”

Entertainer was acquired by Mark Walker on behalf of Fortuna Racing at the Inglis Digital sale in December 2019 for A$20,000 – he has now won eight races from twenty three starts in Singapore and accumulated S$293,000 in prizemoney, a great return on investment for his ownership group

Entertainer is raced by the Fortuna Entertainer Syndicate, an ownership group consisting of 51 individuals from NZ, Australia and the USA

Entertainer was also featured in the lead article of the Racing Page in Singapore’s leading newspaper, the Singapore Straits Times on Monday 19th September – see below;

Mark Walker carrying all before him in the new season with 33 winners as of 21 Sept – Strike Rate of 5.09

Unquestionably Mark has had a brilliant start to the new season recording 33 wins in just seven weeks – this is quite remarkable particularly given the extremely difficult weather conditions that have made it very challenging for all trainers. However Mark and his team have shrugged that off and just gone about their business in their usual professional manner – 5 wins from 8 races at Matamata this Wednesday is testament to that.

I speak with Mark a lot of course, as readers would appreciate and in his usual modest manner, he always deflects praise from him personally, he talks of the quality of the horses that David has bought for the stable and the high quality of the staff. While all of ths stable staff at Matamata and at Riccarton deserve praise for their efforts, Mark is very well supported by Assistant Trainer, Sam Bergerson and traveling Foreman, Hunter Durrant, both outstanding young men with bright futures ahead of them.

Looking at the Trainers Table, it is notable that Kevin Myers sits in 2nd place with 16 wins at a strike rate of 5.44 – “Dummy” always comes to the fore in the winter months of course, but having said that, he has been a top 10 trainer for many seasons now and last Sunday at Te Rapa, Kiddo gave him his 3rd career win in the Great Northern Steeples. Kevin of course trains Khafeef and Beau Geste for Fortuna and its great for me to see our two NZ Trainers at one and two on the Trainer’s list

Guest Selector – Des Coppins

Des’ selection last week gave us a great sight but in the end fell victim to rider error – here is what Des has to say this week;

Blackwood Star had the toughest of experiences for us last week in the ultimate 3200m plus  staying trip at New Plymouth on Saturday. Sadly she missed the start by three or four lengths and settled last.  At one stage she was a conservative  20 lengths from the pace but when the pack tightened a   fair bit down the back straight the young jockey, instead of casually nursing her mount into her work, let the brakes off  and sprinted from last to first in less than 250m to slip clear well before the turn. Exhaustion naturally kicked in for the brave mare  over the last furlong and she understandably had nothing to give when the challenges came thick and fast in the straight.

Clearly it was an error of judgement by the young jockey but one I’m sure she  will learn from. One thing’s for sure, Blackwood Star would have slept well on Saturday night.

This weekend I am focusing on Ruakaka for a nice each way bet. I can see value on 4 or 5 races at Ruakaka but I’ve settled on the local, Follow Your Dreams in race 4.

Like most Ruakaka-trained runners he saves his  best for the home track and has won  twice there with a host of placings as well. He was game in running second to his well performed stablemate , Zelinsky, at Ruakaka about a month ago, beating the well performed Pris De Fer and Crystalise who ran two and one at Te Rapa last Sunday. With the in form promising apprentice Kelsey Hannan on board again I sense Follow Your Dreams will sit close to the pace with only 51kgs – a drop of 8kgs when he  settled too far back when third on the track at her last start – and outmuscle his well performed rivals, who although have more experience, are less seasoned.

The odds are appealing on a one over two units  at $7 and $2.50.

Fingers crossed – Follow Your Dreams will get us back in the black!

Good punting and good luck with the in form Fortuna team this weekend

Des runs  his very popular phone tipping line (you can access this by calling 0900 45459 – note this incurs a charge of $2.99 per minute) – this service has been active for over 25 years and covers all NZ gallops from 8am each race day).