Golden Monkey climaxed a winning weekend for Vinery sire Star Turn with an explosive Fortune Bowl (LR, 1400m) victory in Singapore on Sunday.
It was his fifth black-type victory at Kranji and there’s more to come going deeper into this prep for trainer Tim Fitzsimmons. The grand-final could well be a showdown with Lim’s Kosciuszko in the Kranji Mile (1600m) on May 18.
“He’s a world-class horse,” Fitzsimmons claimed after last year’s winner of the Singapore Derby (LR, 1800m) returned to scale with Chad Schofield. “I was pretty confident and all he needed was just a bit of luck.”
Golden Monkey shouldered 58kg and settled midfield surrounded by traffic in a capacity field. A gap presented when Street Of Dreams (Dundeel) accelerated in the straight and Schofield seized the moment to send the odds-on favourite clear in the near track-record time of 1.20.78s. “He’s been working really well coming into today’s race. Chad put him to sleep and got out at just the right time. That’s why we got him up here again from Australia.”
Schofield was aboard when Golden Monkey won last year’s Stewards’ Cup (LR, 1600m) prior to his Singapore Derby triumph under Hugh Bowman. “I always enjoy riding this horse. He looked so good in the parade ring and also felt terrific on the way to the barriers. I had a lot of horse underneath me and we were in the same rhythm as last time. He also showed that same turn of foot when the run came.”
Fitzsimmons believes Golden Monkey is the second-best horse in Singapore behind Lim’s Kosciuszko (Kermadec) and is looking forward to meeting the kingpin of Kranji. “He’s the benchmark. But you have to have a crack and we will be out there to beat him.”
In the meantime, Fitzsimmons has pencilled in the Committee’s Prize (LR, 1600m) on March 9 and E W Barker Trophy (LR, 1400m) on April 21 leading up to the Kranji Mile.
Golden Monkey (5g Star Turn – Dixie’s Comet by Northern Meteor) was bred and sold by Howard Blight through Byerley Stud (as agent) for $54,000 at the 2020 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale. He’s won 7 times in 18 starts for a Jig Racing – Elvira Stables partnership managed by Josh McLoughlan and his earnings are the equivalent of AUD 871,830.
Star Turn has a 100% strike-rate in Singapore and the Vinery Stud sire’s Australasian figures continue to flatter with winners like Shezanalister completing a city hat-trick on Saturday. Earlier at Randwick, his browband barnstormer Derry Grove finished second in a four-way, nose-to-nose finish to the Laurel Oak Hcp (1600m).
Derry Grove had flown home for a profitable pay day in the $1million Magic Millions The Syndicate (1100m) at the Gold Coast last month and he’s an $8 equal-favourite for the $1million NSW Country Championships Final (1400m) at Randwick on April 6.