Friday Flash 7th January 2021

Fortuna has five runners this Saturday 8th January – two in NZ and three in Singapore

New Zealand

Leaderboard contests the Marton Cup at Awapuni, a Listed event over 2200m (Race 7 at 4.20pm). Kozzie Asano reunites with him in this race, a final lead up race for him as he heads toward the Wellington Cup 29thJanuary. A strong finishing 3rd over 1600m at Timaru 28th December has set him up for this race – gets a suitable distance, drawn nicely in a field of 12 runners, will get a firmish track which may not be ideal, but if he copes with that, can certainly feature in the finish here with just 53kgs to carry

Charmaine’s Dream runs at Kumara on Saturday in the Rating 65 1150 (Race 4 @ 1.42pm) in what will be her 2nd start from the Kevin Myers barn – a strong performance for 3rd at Greymouth on Monday from a tricky draw has set her up nicely for this event, but once again has drawn an outside barrier, so will need luck. The in form Tina Comignaghi takes the mount. Difficult draw, so will need luck in running, but if she gets it can feature


Hidden Promise is in the Class 5 1200 Poly (Race 1 at 5pm NZT) – but is Ballot 2, so probably will not get a run. This 9yo Veteran is in his 7th season if racing but retains the enthusiasm of a 3yo, This is a resuming run and is at a trip short of his best, but has run some cheeky races when fresh at this trip. Shafiq has been engaged to ride – has drawn wide which won’t make it easy if he does manage to get a start

Deception is on debut in the Restricted Maiden 1100m (Race 2 @ 5.30pm NZT), a S$75k event. This 3yo son of I Am Invincible has taken all before him with his trials to date. Will be ridden by Marc Lerner from Barrier 5 in a 9 horse field. Meets a field here of previous runners with moderate exposed form and other debut runners with reasonable trials form. Shows all the attributes of a class galloper and if he can reproduce his trial form on race day, will be a strong each way chance

Entertainer resumes in the Class 3 1100 Poly (Race 10 @ 9.30NZT). “Joker” was the Fortuna NZ Stable star of 2021, with 6 victories from 9 starts. He has drawn awkwardly in Barrier 10 but just loves to jump and run and will either lead or trail. Apprentice K Yusoff takes 3kgs off his back. Back to Class 3 after winning at Class 2 level last time and running at a trip at which he won 6 times from 7 starts in 2021 – looks to be a compelling winning chance in this race

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

1st Pick: ENTERTAINER (3)
Classy galloper who  has an extraordinary record over this course and distance winning six from seven starts.
2nd Pick: FIRST BOWL (11)
Strung together a few nice wins last preparation in Class 4. Not the strongest of races so that form can measure up in this.
3rd Pick: MY MAN (5)
Having his debut start in Singapore after arriving from Argentina. He is a Group and Listed winner in his native home over further distances. Look for him finishing off.
4th Pick: WEBSTER (2)
Dropping sharply in grade and can bring some of his old form back. The last time he raced in this class, he was victorious back in 2018.

Fortuna Track work – Matamata
Tuesday 4th Jan
Navalha (N Parmar) galloped over an easy 800 metres in 53.7, home in 38.2.
Madame Moet (T Harris) worked over an easy 1000 metres in 1.10.2, last 600 in 43.5.

Thursday 6th Jan
Soprano Supreme (B King) galloped over an easy 1200 metres in 1.23, last 600 in 40.

Madame Moet (T Harris) galloped over an easy 1000 metres in 1.07.5, home in 39.5.

Dancarina (A Gujar) galloped over an easy 1000 metres in 1.11, last 600 in 41.1.

Other News

KING ARTHUR makes it back to back wins in Singapore

KING ARTHUR took no prisoners on the Opening Day of the Singapore Turf Club’s 2022 season when scorching to a win in the Class 4 1000m Polytrack event, making it back to back wins and recording his 3rd Singapore win in the process. The 4yo son of I Am Invincible out of Pentasia (by Pentire) had drawn the outside barrier which had the potential to make things tricky for him, but, in the hands of former Singapore Champion Apprentice rider Shafiq Rusof, he flew the gates and was soon in the lead. Kept wide on the rain affected surface by Shafiq, he turned for home with a narow margin, found a kick and under a strong hands and heels ride, went to the line with 1.3 lengths to spare over the 2nd placed Rocketship, in the smart time of 58.93 sec.

Click HERE to see the race replay

King Arthur’s victory also handed Singapore Trainer Donna Logan her first winner as Head Trainer for the powerful Te Akau Racing operation, on her very first day in that role, having been appointed in December after Mark Walker’s relocation back to New Zealand to take up the reins as Head Trainer in New Zealand – this due to the current NZ Trainer, Jamie Richards, heading to Hong Kong in the Autumn to join the training ranks of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Donna Logan was ecstatic after King Arthur’s victory; “That was a very strong win today, it was always going to be challenging for him to overcome the wide barrier draw, but he simply flew the gates and was ridden perfectly by Shafiq – he has always been a horse who has got himself a bit worked up pre race, but he was very calm and relaxed today in the parade ring – I think he has a bright future ahead of him in Singapore. And a great personal thrill for me to train a winner on Opening Day of the season on my first day as Trainer for Te Akau Racing. Also special for King Arthur to be raced by the Fortuna NZ Stable here in Singapore – they had an excellent season in 2020 with 19 winners in total and John Galvin has put together a very strong stable here in Singapore for Fortuna and its clients.”

“King Arthur” – Singapore Win #3 – 2nd January 2022

Fortuna boss, John Galvin, watching from his Hamilton home in New Zealand was over the moon with the result “Look, we were expecting a strong run as he was a very good last start winner in this grade, however the outside draw had the potential to be tricky and the heavy rain had made the track very sticky, so we weren’t quite sure what we were going to get, but King Arthur simply flew the gates and Shafiq rode him perfectly from there. Great to see Shafiq get another win in the Fortuna silks – he and I go back a long way with many winners together in Singapore and of course with his riding stint in NZ in 2018, he rode Melody Belle to win 3 times, including two Group One wins on her. And I am rapt for Donna Logan – she has been thrust into the hot seat at the helm of Te Akau Racing and she has got her new role off to a flying start. Kudos to Mark Walker also for nurturing King Arthur along in such a professional manner – he has not been the easiest horse to deal with”

Shafiq Rusof returns to scale on King Arthur

KING ARTHUR was originally raced in Australia as Tintagel by clients of the Bjorn Baker Stable, but after they decided to put the horse on the market, he was purchased by John Galvin out of the October 2020 Inglis Digital Sale for A$25,000 and is raced by the Fortuna King Arthur Syndicate, an ownership group of 31 individuals from New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia. From 11 starts in Singapore, he has now accumulated S$103,000 with 3 wins and 6 minor placings

Current Opportunities – the Darci Brahma 2yo “DB”

We still have a few share left in the 2yo Gelding “DB” by Darci Brahma out of the Iffraaj mare Ujjayyi, whom we acquired on very good terms at the Ready To Run Sale in November.

He has been in the paddock since the sale, but this week travelled to Matamata to commence his first full Stable Prep under Jamie’s care.

Both David and Jamie are very bullish about “DB” – Click HERE to see DB parading Thursday morning with voiceover from David. He came in from the farm a few days ago and is in one of Jamie’s front paddocks and Jamie says “John, this is very nice horse – he is well grown, carries good condition and moves well.” He heads to the water walker on Monday for two week’s pre training and then will come under Jamie’s care – Jamie will aim him toward a jumpout and trial late Feb/early March

$1100 for each 1% share and $40 per month per each 1% from 1 April. Click HERE to read full details on the Fortuna website and you can order shares direct off the website. Contact me if you need more info

 The Darci Brahma – Ujjaayyi 2yo Gelding “DB”

New Years Messages

A big thanks to those of our clients who sent us New Year’s Greetings – all very much appreciated. One message in particular caught my eye and so is reproduced below.

Dear John and Jessica

First of all I hope you enjoyed the Festive Period and I wish you a Happy New Year.
We rounded off the year with some terrific performances in the Fortuna Silks, most notably King Arthur and Mohawk Brave, that have us incredibly excited about what awaits in 2022. I say we as I do not consider myself part of a syndicate but part of the Fortuna extended family.

Fortuna had 31 winners in 2021 , 19 in Singapore and 12 in New Zealand including two Group 1 victories for Melody Belle. This was despite 2021 providing us all with more challenging times.

To be able to bring “The Sport Of Kings” to so many is a tribute to John and Jessica and the Fortuna Family, being part of it is privilege and an honor. One can tell from the horse updates and weekly letters that this success is not taken for  granted, and there are some new purchases to strengthen the teams further for 2022.

The New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysian government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has not won universal praise but lockdown and restrictions has helped reduce cases and deaths from the virus. Some decisions have been difficult to understand at times, I hope 2022 sees us turning a corner and as John says  we can get back to living our lives.

Towards the end of 2021 there was the news that the Fortuna trainers would be taking up New Challenges and we wish Mark, Jamie and Donna great success in their new endeavors. We are excited to see Donna build on Mark’s success in Singapore. 2021 has seen some fabulous training performances, Mark leading trainer in Singapore, we also enjoyed a wide range of winning jockeys with Hakim taking the Singapore Jockeys title.

To wrap up I want to say thank you John and Jessica for your continued support and insights and wishing you all the best for the year ahead.

Kind regards,
Iain Leishman

Iain is a relatively new Fortuna client who has enjoyed having 5 wins in just 11 starts from 3 horses. Iain is an expat Scotsman who has worked in the oil industry most of his working life, with stints in the UK, Egypt, Syria and now Malaysia – I suspect he would have a few stories to tell over a single malt or two!!! He currently lives in Malaysia with his wife Judie. His wins have come from Mohawk Brave and King Arthur and a few hours after Iain sent this note to us King Arthur won again for him. I am sure Iain and Judie will be glued to their TV screen at around 12.30pm Saturday when their debut runner Deception runs for them.

Thanks so much for your kind words Iain and once this Covid madness is over, I look forward to catching up with you in the Owners Lounge at the Singapore Turf Club, where I am sure we can share a “wee dram” or two together

Next week Matamata 12th Race Day

Interesting day for us with a “ladies day” for our runners – the two 4yo Mares, Madame Moet and Soprano Supreme, who both ran very promising 2nd places at the Matamata track at the pre Christmas meeting, while our 3yo Filly, Dancarina, who won a trial at Ellerslie in impressive fashion a few days before Christmas, makes her race day debut