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Spalato Brilliant In Comeback

Monday, 10th August 2015

New Zealand-bred Singapore star Spalato (Elusive City-Ellington, by Express Duke) looked back to his brilliant best when cruising to a 5.25-length win in the S$200,000 Gr3 Woodlands Handicap (1200m) at Kranji racecourse yesterday. The lightly raced 6YO had not raced for over eight months since injuring himself in the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint in December. "It's such a relief he won, especially after all the problems he's had since Hong Kong," said trainer John O'Hara. "He always had a lot in hand throughout and the way he won, it's pretty obvious that his back problems are behind him now. I was actually never worried about that going into the race." Spalato, who is owned and bred by New Zealanders Graham Mackie and Trish Dunell, took his record to 7 wins from 9 starts for over S$1.17 million prize money. A relieved Dunnell, who was on hand to watch her champion's return to the track, said: "I'm a complete mess now. I'm so glad he won. There is always a bit of anxiety how he would go first-up after such a long break, but this was just awesome." O'Hara said Spalato would have his next run in the Gr3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) on 6 September before stepping up to Gr1 level again in the Kranji Mile (1600m) on 4 October. "One thing at a time, it's up to the owners to decide," said O'Hara. "I will see how he pulls up but the plan is to now set him for the Jumbo Jet Trophy and then the Kranji Mile." The Kranji Mile is the first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown which also comprises the Gr1 Raffles Cup (1800m) on 25 October and the Gr1 Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) on 15 November.


Spalato (image: Singapore Turf Club)
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