A contentious field of 13, led by six group I winners, will go to the post in the $2.4 million Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sin-I) at Kranji Racecourse May 20. The 10-furlong turf contest is the second of two international group I stakes that anchor the two-day Singapore International Festival.
One of the major contenders is two-time group I winner, California Memory. The 6-year-old gelding by Highest Honor enters the Cup off a fifth-place finish in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (HK-I) April 29. Although winless in four starts so far this season, the Tony Cruz trainee ended 2011 on a high note by capturing the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) in December. Felix Coetzee will ride.
French-based Chinchon will be trying to rebound from a lackluster eighth-place finish in the QEII Cup in April. The 7-year-old son of Marju began his 2012 season with a victory in the Prix Exbury (Fr-III) March 17. Chinchon has done well when shipped stateside; he has a win and a second-place finish in back-to-back runnings of the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park. Olivier Doleuze will ride.
German champion Zazou enters the race off a fifth-place finish to Monterosso in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). Prior to that race he defeated champion Cirrus des Aigles at Chantilly in a local prep for the World Cup. The 5-year-old horse by Shamardal won the Premio Roma GBI Racing (Ity-I) in November before finishing a good third to California Memory in the Hong Kong Cup. Andrasch Starke will be in the irons.
Zaidan will be trying to notch his second group I victory of the year on Sunday. The 4-year-old Street Cry gelding edged Sweet Orange by a nose to win the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Cup (HK-I) Feb. 19. Since then he has two fourth-place finishes in Hong Kong group I races, including the QEII Cup. James McDonald will ride.
Thumbs Up and Waikato head the group of locally-based runners in the Cup. Of the pair, Thumbs Up has a bit stronger form. The Shinko King gelding has strong runner-up finishes in both the QEII Cup and the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase (HK-I). Waikato has won several locally-based group races, and finished in a dead heat for third in this race last year.
Godolphin will be represented by the talented City Style. The Mahmood al Zarooni-trained gelding by City Zip was last seen finishing third to Cityscape in the Dubai Duty Free Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IT) March 31. Mickael Barzalona will ride.
$2.4-million Singapore Airlines International Cup (gr. I, race 10, 8:40 a.m. EDT), 10 furlongs (turf).
PP, Horse, Wgt., Jockey, Trainer
1. Flax (SAf), 126, J. Verenzuela, D. Hill
2. Zazou (Ger), 126, A. Suborics, W. Hickst
3. Zaidan (KY), 126, J. McDonald, J. Moore
4. El Dorado (Jpn), 126, A. Munro, H. Takaoka
5. Speed Baby (Aus), 126, I. Azhar, S. Burridge
6. California Memory (KY), 126, F. Coetzee, T. Cruz
7. Chinchon (Ire), 126, O. Doleuze, C. Laffon-Parias
8. Waikato (NZ), 126, O. Bosson, L. Laxon
9. Dream Peace (Ire), 122, G. Mosse, R. Collet
10. City Style (KY), 126, M. Barzalona, M. Al-Zarooni
11. Thumbs Up (NZ), 126, B. Prebble, L.C. Shan
12. New Rose Wood (Aus), 122, D. Beasley, C. Brown
13. Always Certain (Aus), 126, S. Baster, M. Freedman