Singapore Airlines International Cup - Misfortune, disappointment dog Japan team in Singapore
- Yamanin Kingly comes last; Shadow Gate withdrawn after gate accident -
Japan's hopes for its third victory in the Singapore Airlines International Cup were dashed on Sunday May 16 as Yamanin Kingly finished a far last and Shadow Gate was forced to be withdrawn following an accident in the gate.
Winning the race by half a length was South Africa's Lizard's Desire, who shot forward with 100 meters to go to catch and pass last year's champion Gloria De Campeao at the wire. It was sweet revenge for the Lizard Island-sired gelding after his recent loss in the Dubai World Cup to the French runner by a nose. Lizard's Desire clocked 2:02.12 over the 2,000 meters of turf.
UAE's Al Shemali finished in third another 1 4/5 lengths away, while local runner Waikato turned in his third forth-place finish in the Singapore International race days in as many years (forth-place finishes in 2008 and 2009 KrisFlyer Int'l Sprint). The Luca Cumani-trained, U.K.-based Presvis came in fifth under 6 1/10 lengths off the winner.
Japan's Yamanin Kingly was never able to figure in the S$3-million race, running last from gate to finish with the distance between himself and the winner widening to 23 lengths by the wire.
Heavy rain from late afternoon softened the ground to "yielding" by post time, a condition welcomed by jockey Katsuharu Tanaka, who believed it would work in Shadow Gate's favor. Sadly, the pair would never get to test the going.
In the pre-parade ring, Shadow Gate grew agitated as Tanaka mounted up and bucked and jumped as he entered the track. Though care was taken to load him late he proved frenzied in the gate, crashing open the front and injuring his left hind leg while kicking the back door. He was ordered to be withdrawn by a veterinarian.
Trainer Yukihiro Kato accepted the blow from fate calmly saying, "Traveling overseas can be wrought with any number of things. It's a shame but can't be helped." Tanaka offered no comment, but only hung his head in what was surely crushing disappointment.
The gate incident apparently had its effect on the 5-year-old, Hiroshi Kawachi-trained Yamanin Kingly as well. Though he looked to have broken well from the gate, later jockey Yuichi Shibayama conceded that the wait had upset the horse. "Because he was kept waiting, he panicked and broke out in somewhat of a tizzy." A lost cool and the heavy track were cited as factors in his poor showing. "His feet were getting caught in the ground and though I tried to ride holding him up, he lost all momentum going into the bend," Shibayama explained.
Japan had been looking to notch its third win of the race. Cosmo Bulk captured the Cup in 2006, with Shadow Gate reaching the winner's circle in 2007.
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Singapore Turf Club website: http://www.turfclub.com.sg/
Singapore Airlines International Cup website: http://www.siacup.com.sg/
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