Can Streets Of Fire weather another Awesome Storm ?
Kuala Lumpur, May 24
AWESOME STORM (Phenomenons – Forewarning by Magic Albert) turned in the most spectacular performance seen in the Tunku Gold Cup when he romped home by eight and a half lengths in the 1200m sprint last year when the Cup returned to the calendar after a two-year break.
Although the Australian gelding has won two more races since, it’s a hard to picture him trashing his rivals again like he did last year when the 2023 edition of the Cup is held this Sunday, although another victory might still be on the card for him.
Three starts back, AWESOME STORM was back at his brilliant best when romped to an easy win in a Metro A event over 1200m, beating XENA (Proisir – Lady Illicit by Sir Percy) into second place, a repeat of the result of the Cup last year.
AWESOME STORM, with already eight wins to his name, then finished third to his half-brother CHINESE TEA (Magnus – Forewarning by Magic Albert) in a 1100m sprint before finding the brilliant mare STREETS OF FIRE (Ecohes Of Heaven – Apowwow by Kaapstad) much too smart three weeks ago.
It’s the first time the pair met and STREETS OF FIRE, who has won her last two starts, will be out to prove that the win was no fluke.
After winning her way up from Class 5 four years ago, STREETS OF FIRE has stormed right into the picture for this year’s Cup beating some of the horses who will line up in the race on Sunday, among them SINCERELY and CHEVAL RAPIDE who will be first time contestants in the Cup.
But another STREETS OF FIRE and AWESOME STORM duel is what racegoers can expect this Sunday.
SINCERELY (Evasive – Desilusion by Dyhim Diamond), winner of two races in Singapore, has found his form at the right moment, winning his last start two weeks ago.
The French gelding won three races in France, including the listed Prix Millkom at Toulouse, so he has the class to bring it off.
CHEVAL RAPIDE (Exceed And Excel – Much Faster by Fasliyev) won twice in Ireland and scored six times in Singapore before picking up four more victories in Malaysia. A speedy sort who can be hard to run down on his day.
Another galloper who is looming large this year is BIG DOCTOR (Better Than Ready – Royalsyn by Royal Academy) who is unbeaten in three starts in Malaysia. However, the Cup line-up is a lot stronger than what he has come up against thus far.
The Australian gelding raced for three seasons Down Under, winning five races in Brisbane before coming over here. He has only to reproduce that sort of form to pose a threat. Undoubtedly, this will his biggest test yet.
VIOLET, LONELY BOY and WHITE HOOF BIRD, who finished third, fourth and fifth respectively in the Cup last year, will again be in the line up on Sunday.
VIOLET (Mint Lane – Wings Of Alice by Testa Rossa) has 13 wins to his name and was a winner three starts back. A pretty consistent sort who cannot be ruled out.
LONELY BOY (Lethal Force – Havelovewilltravel by Holy Roman Emperor), the second highest rated horse with 11 wins, has been performing consistently all season. On his day, he can be unstoppable.
WHITE HOOF BIRD (Denman – Can She Move by Canny Lad), winner of eight races thus far, is a last start winner.
Also among last year’s beaten brigade, GINGERELLA (Gingerbread Man – Jestervale by Real Jester) and CHINESE TEA, will take the field again this year.
All these horses have performed consistently in the last 12 months and finding their way to the winner’s circle at one time or another this year.
But the one horse who could rule them all might be GRAND CROSS (Fastnet Rock – Defiant Dame by More Than Ready), the highest rated runner at 127 by virtue of his record 19 wins in Singapore and Malaysia.
Winner of two races in Australia, the gelding is still picking up a win every now and then despite turning 10 years old.
GRAND CROSS was considered a serious contender in the Cup last year but was scratched at the last minute because of a sole bruise off-fore.
For all his successes, GRAND CROSS has only contested a big race once, the Perak Gold Vase in 2019 when he ran unplaced. Could this be his moment?
If he does triumph, it would be a fitting crowning moment for the veteran galloper who has re-written the record book time and again in the last couple of years.
|2023 TRIPLE CROWN SERIES – 1ST LEG|
|2023 EQUINE SANCTUARY TUNKU GOLD CUP|
|MALAYSIA GROUP 1 :- 1200M [ 3 YO’S AND ABOVE ]|
|[ RATINGS : 71 AND ABOVE ] [ SW ]||BR|
|1||GRAND CROSS||60.0||127||K COETZEE||S SADDAM||5|
|2||LONELY BOY||60.0||118||M SUKRI||Y AIFY||12|
|3||AWESOME STORM||59.5||112||S DUNDERDALE||B PINHEIRO||8|
|4||VIOLET||59.5||110||BT LIM||APP. R NUQMAN||3|
|5||GINGERELLA||59.0||106||MW TEH||M EWE||11|
|6||WHITE HOOF BIRD||58.0||98||BT LIM||APP. CLYDE LECK||2|
|7||STREETS OF FIRE||57.0||93||KC TIANG||B WOODWORTH||13|
|8||BIG DOCTOR||56.5||89||T ASOGAN||HS GILL||1|
|9||AHTIMS KLIS||56.0||88||HS LIM||Z KHAIRIL||6|
|10||XENA||56.0||88||HY CHENG||S RUZAINI||16|
|11||CHEVAL RAPIDE||55.5||85||S DUNDERDALE||WH KOK||10|
|12||CHINESE TEA||55.0||82||F MAYNARD||R RUEVEN||17|
|13||SINCERELY||55.0||81||R LINES||C GRYLLS||7|
|14||KONG FU PANDA||55.0||80||KC TIANG||CC WONG||18|
|15||SAN ANDREAS||55.0||80||AB ABDULLAH||E FERREIRA||19|
|16||GOLDEN KING||53.0||74||HY CHENG||V ESPINDOLA||9|
|17||WATCH THE THRONE EA1||55.5||83||HY CHENG||J LOW||4|
|18||STRONG N POWERFUL EA2||53.0||75||V SIVAN||UNFIXED||15|
|19||PERFECT EA3||52.0||72||S SIVA||UNFIXED||14|
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