Racing

Shane eyes Singapore Derby

Kranji Mile winner Aramaayo his best hope of winning the Group 1 race that has eluded him and father Don

If there is one race on the calendar that trainer Shane Baertschiger would love to win, it would have to be the Singapore Derby.

Not only has the trophy been missing from his mantlepiece, but it has also eluded his father, Don, who in his day as a trainer at the old Bukit Timah Racecourse and at Kranji, had a good record with the big races.

Indeed, on separate occasions, the Baertschigers have won the Lion City Cup, Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the Kranji Mile.

Baertschiger Sr won the 2008 Lion City Cup with Capablanca, the 2004 QE II Cup with Moon Shadow and the 2005 Kranji Mile with Really Good.

His son did the treble with Aramco, I'm Incredible and Aramaayo respectively.

The Derby is what Shane wants.

To date, his best result was Preditor's fifth behind Infantry in 2017.

Well, it could all come good tomorrow, when he saddles Aramaayo in the $500,000 race, which was rescheduled from April 18 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I haven't had a great run in the Derby," said Baertschiger.

"Aramaayo is by far my best chance to win a Derby. He was bought for that race, anyway."

Known as Aramayo in Australia, he arrived in Singapore with Derby written all over him.

In only 12 starts between Sydney and Melbourne, he ran sixth to Extra Brut in the 2018 Victoria Derby over 2,500m and 11th to Angel Of Truth in the 2019 Australian Derby over 2,400m.

"Right from Day 1, I knew he was quite smart. The day he beat Top Knight (Class 2 race over 1,400m on Feb 9), he was impressive," said Baertschiger.

"But he really put the writing on the wall in the second leg of the 4YO series (Stewards' Cup over 1,600m). He bombed the start but still ran third.

"I knew then we had a genuine Derby horse on our hands. His win in the Kranji Mile proved it."

Baertschiger is not losing any sleep over the 1,800m Derby trip.

"The first time over 1,800m is not a worry as he's raced up to 2,500 metres back home," he said.

"The horse has trained on and I expect a big run."

Brazilian jockey Ruan Maia, who struck it lucky at his first pairing with Aramaayo in the Kranji Mile, will keep the ride in the big race tomorrow.

HORSE RACING