Roderic O'Connor, Anne-Marie, Joseph and Aidan O'Brien - Irish 2000 Guineas
Roderic O'Connor, Anne-Marie, Joseph and Aidan O'Brien - Irish 2000 Guineas

Roderic O’Connor, Anne-Marie, Joseph and Aidan O’Brien

(Photos : Racing Post)


Singapore is a long way from home, but it’s a statement on the international nature of racing that both the biggest events on their racing calendar, were dominated by South African trained, owned and ridden horses.

The KrisFlyer Sprint (Gr1) finally fell to one of the world’s most deserving sprinters, Rocket Man, owned by Fred Crabbia, trained by Pat Shaw and masterfully piloted by Felix Coetzee.

But it was in the big one, the Singapore Airlines International Cup (Gr1) that the South African influence really came home, as it has done so often in recent seasons. In as tight a finish as you could conjure, Herman Brown Jnr at last landed the richest of rewards for his enterprise, as his Gitano Hernando (Glyn Schofield in the irons) bested the Mike de Kock trained, Shirtliff and Amm owned and Bernard Fayd’Herbe riddenRiver Jetez in an all-South African finish.

Ownership? Yes, you may well speculate. Gitano Hernando was recently sold by long-time Summerhill client, Barry Irwin, to newly arrived Summerhill customer, Ramzan Kadyrov, and gave notice of his intentions with a big warm-up in the Dubai World Cup.

One last word on family. The Irish Guineas (Gr1) was entirely predictable, as Aidan O’Brien landed the spoils for the seventh time. What wasn’t quite as expected, was that his 18 year old son, Joseph O’Brien would be on board the Galileo colt, Roderic O’Connor, who brushed aside his vapid efforts in England’s equivalent a fortnight ago.