Highly Recommended registers first Singapore winner

Highly Recommended registers first Singapore winner20 Jul 2018

Up-and-coming New Zealand stallion Highly Recommended recorded his first Singapore winner after Glengallon scored a dominant win on debut in the $85,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1000m on Polytrack on Friday night.

The Group 2 winning son of Fastnet Rock is still a relative unknown in Singapore, but those who keep an eye on the breeding scene in New Zealand would have caught on.

Highly Recommended was second on the New Zealand First Season Sires’ table in 2016, with progeny already ‘black type’ winners like Group 2 winner Sumstreetsumwhere and Listed winner Waldorf, both exported to Hong Kong since.

Clarton Star and Fifth Command Flag are just two of his progeny to have raced at Kranji. They have not run much and have yet to show much, but Glengallon has now stamped himself as the best advertisement following his resounding first-up win.

Bustled up early from his outside gate by Kiwi rider Craig Grylls, the three-year-old (from Highly Recommended’s second season crop) showed enough natural speed to go eye-balling Navagio (Matthew Kellady) in the lead.

With Shane Baertschiger’s charge giving no signs of relinquishing the top spot, Grylls eased his mount off ever so slightly, but never further off Navagio’s girth while odds-on favourite Grand Choice (Barend Vorster) was in an ideal stalking spot after taking the drop in the box-seat right behind Navagio.

Upon straightening, with Navagio sending out clear signals of distress, Glengallon shot past and wasted little time in putting a big space between himself and the rest. Grand Choice was angled out for his run down the middle, but to his punters’ and connections’ dismay, the Master Of Design three-year-old could only watch a clean set of heels clear out in the distance.

Glengallon bounded away to a two-and-a-half length-win with Reign (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) charging from the ruck to pinch second place from Grand Choice by a head. The winning time was 59.45 seconds for the 1000m on the Polytrack.

Prepared by first full-year trainer Tan Kah Soon for relative newcomer Ascot Stable, Glengallon was certainly franking the solid barrier trial form he showed at both New Zealand and here at Kranji. Tan could only hope more support would come from the outfit after that first hurrah.

“He showed natural ability and has done very well since he came here,” said Tan.

“Craig has done a very good job with him, he rode him in that winning barrier trial. I was just a bit worried he would get a bit keen, but he was okay.

“Thanks to the owner for sending me this horse. It’s their first one with me and let’s hope there’ll be more from them.”

Grylls was clearly impressed with his first winner for Tan, and his 24th winner for the season overall.

“He’s got a decent engine for sure,” he said.

“From the wide draw, he went really quick. He’s been training well even if I felt at his barrier trial, he flattened out a little.

“But he’s got a high cruising speed and I think he will get more distance.”

-Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club



Breeding: Highly Recommended - Yeogor Lass (Sir Chromar)

Breeder: Mrs KA Barrett & Mrs NE Iles 

Trainer: Tan Kah Soon 

Owner: Bruce & Maureen Harvey, Ascot Stable