Tavistock gelding shapes as new Singapore star

10 Apr 2017

Emerging Tavistock youngster Tannhauser may have stamped himself as an exciting late addition to the Singapore three-year-old mix after he came close to breaking the course 1100m record with an outstanding win at only his second start on Friday.

Making the run even more remarkable was the fact that the Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan-bred son of Tavistock had to go under the knife twice after his debut fifth last November ? for a gelding and a respiratory operation.

A horse getting cut is not so critical, if anything, it should enhance a male horse’s ability to focus better, but a wind operation can be trickier.

Looking at the way Tannhauser spreadeagled his 10 rivals in the $S75,000 Restricted Maiden race to go and clock a sizzling 1:4.34secs for a new class record and only 0.07 second outside Easy Man’s course record, there is little doubt he has come back a much better individual.

Trainer Michael Clements now has legitimate designs on the Gr.1 Singapore Guineas (1600m), the third and final Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, which he already has a strong foothold in.

The Zimbabwean-born handler has already snared the first Leg, the Gr.3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) with his other smart three-year-old, the undefeated Countofmontecristo, who will try to double up in the second Leg, the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) next Friday.

"For a maiden to win like that, break the class record at only his second run and after a wind op and gelding op, it's looking good for his future," Clements said.

"We knew before he came here he would need a wind operation at some stage. He had it after his first run, together with the gelding operation.

"At that first run, he was heavier and was still a colt, but he still went okay. To be honest, I wasn't sure he could win like that tonight as a wind operation does have a degree of risk, but he showed he had come on a lot even if he was still green.

"He was all over the place and even looked like he shied from the giant screen, but Vlad [Duric, jockey] was able to steady him and point him in the right direction.

"I've definitely had thoughts about the Guineas for a while. I'll see how he pulls up and hopefully we can get a run in between and set him for that race."

The Singapore Guineas will be run on May 14 and will certainly be spiced up if Tannhauser makes the field, even if both Clements and Duric see him furnishing better into a four-year-old.

"He was doing zig-zags up the straight tonight. He was a little green and lost with the lights for the first time, but he is of a very high standard," Duric said.

"He has the right attributes to become a good horse. He is a big strong horse and has a lovely temperament, but I think he will become a cracking four-year-old.

"It doesn't matter if he misses the three-year-old series as he's got a long career ahead of him."

Raced by Joshua Tan of the Jubilant Racing No 4 Stable, who likes to give musically-inspired names to his horses, Tannhauser is named after an opera by Richard Wagner. He was sent out as the favourite on Friday. - Singapore Turf Club