Tannhauser makes it three straight in Singapore

28 May 2017

Connections and punters alike had their hearts in their mouths when odds-on favourite Tannhauser blew the start last night, but his class luckily still saw him prevail.

An impressive winner at his last two outings, both by shooting straight to the lead and breaking his rivals' hearts thereafter, the Tavistock three-year-old certainly put a big dent on his chances of a third victory on the trot in the $S80,000 Australian Turf Club Trophy, a class three race over 1200m with that tardy beginning, but he quickly recovered to settle in midfield, albeit three wide.

As he swung for home, still out there on a limb, Tannhauser (Vlad Duric) pounced on race-leader Nova Warrior (Shafiq Rizuan) with his customary burst that did suggest the early efforts to make up ground would after all be just a minor blimp.

But longshot Lim's Sprint (Saifudin Ismail) rallied again with another broadside on his inside while Lightning Fast (Wong Chin Chuen) was shaping up as another horse who could claim the scalp of the hotpot.

Tannhauser was on shaky ground, but Duric kept at him, and digging deep into his reserve tank, he fought back doggedly to get the nod by a neck from Lim's Sprint, who held off Lightning Fast by the same margin. The winning time was 1:11.5 for the 1200m on the Polytrack.

Heaving a huge sigh of relief, trainer Michael Clements admitted it was not the prettiest of wins, but most importantly, he won.

Clements and the Jubilant Racing Stable had been tempted to run him in the Gr.1 Singapore Guineas a couple of weeks ago, but decided to go for an easier path.

"It wasn't pretty. He had to give ground and that's not easy over 1200," was the Zimbabwean-born conditioner's first reaction.

"Under the circumstances, Vlad gave him a great ride. He was super impressive at his last two runs, and yes, there was a temptation to run him in the Guineas, but we felt he was still too inexperienced.

"Today's win is part of his learning curve. I'm happy with the decision we made.

"It was a very stressful run, and though he is only lightly-raced, he is due for a let-up. He is a big gangly three-year-old, and we should not hammer him too much.

"I'll probably bring him back for the feature races later in the year."

Duric said he just had to let Tannhauser find his own feet after the less than auspicious start.

"He was still very quiet even after he was slow out of the gates. I just left him alone," said the leading.

Australian jockey. "It was a scrappy win, but he's a horse who is looking for more ground, 1400m to 1600m. It's good he did not go to the Guineas as he may have been found wanting. He will be an even better horse this time next year."

With that third win, Tannhauser sees his stakes earnings bulge past the $S120,000 mark for the Jubilant Racing No 4 Stable. The gelding was a $NZ115,000 purchase from Cambridge Stud's 2015 Premier Yearling Sale draft at Karaka. - Singapore Turf Club, NZ Racing Desk