Supermodel Bax has ambitious plans for Singapore racing
Supermodel is part of a top Kiwi-based horse breeding facility with ambitious plans
With 12 wins in a row, he shares the record for the most number of victories at Singapore Turf Club and not surprisingly is billed as a legend, after retiring in 2012.
Aptly named Better Than Ever, the gelding won more than $2 million in stake money, and deservingly, his owner, businessman and Singapore Athletics chief Tang Weng Fei described him as "the best racehorse I ever owned in my 30 years in the sport".
That success story, among many others, convinced Kylie Bax, partner of Blandford Lodge, the New Zealand horse-breeding facility that bred Better Than Ever, to set her sights on expanding their influence in Singapore.
Speaking to The New Paper at the Singapore Turf Club at Kranji yesterday, the Kiwi supermodel (right) said: "Singapore is a young fresh market that is open to options, and it's exciting.
"People here are extremely passionate about their horses like in New Zealand. New Zealand is a fantastic place to breed horses, Australia is a fantastic place to race horses because of the turnover, and it's the same with Singapore.
"Today, it's easy to travel and take a horse to Ascot (United Kingdom), here or Hong Kong.
"(With technological advancement) The world today is getting smaller, so it's easy to take horses to different countries, so I see myself doing a lot more business with Singapore from New Zealand."
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Ambassador Bax will be hosting Midnight at Ascot at Fairmont Singapore on July 25, and the evening will showcase the "live" and exclusive screening of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Race taking place at Ascot.
Early-bird tables are available for $2,300, while VIP tickets are priced at $500 per person. Tickets are available at www.showbizasia.com.
Bax, 40, has been invited to host the event by Wade Burridge, managing director of Premier Racing Partnerships and organisers of the Midnight at Ascot event.
He said: "Singapore has one of the best platforms for horse ownership and racing to flourish.
"Singapore is extremely relevant and important in the Australian and New Zealand horse breeding industry. Our focus is to really hype up these exciting times."
In the first quarter this year, Premier Racing Partnerships initiated 150 new horse owners in the race community - a clear sign that the quality of racing and trainers, the state-of-the-art facilities at The Singapore Turf Club and faster return on investment are attracting more people to the sport.
"Horse racing is the most fashionable thing to do at the moment," said Bax.
"It's really gaining momentum, especially on the syndication side. You can have one per cent or 100 per cent ownership of a horse and still call it my horse, and enjoy those moments with your friends and family.
"You can meet people from all walks of life. It's a fantastic way to enjoy racing.
"It's taken hold not just in New Zealand and Australia, but with Wade here, it's also taking hold in Singapore.
"It's a new wave, it's a new generation, it's a new way to enjoy life and stay connected."
A model race horse owner
A leggy, lean blonde with striking looks, almost anyone would be able to guess Kylie Bax is a supermodel.
No one would think the Kiwi beauty loves horse racing, though, let alone a breeder of champion thoroughbreds like the legendary Better Than Ever, who got plenty of attention during his heyday in Singapore.
Sitting with a perfect posture and sporting a pixie cut that accentuated her sharp features, the 40-year-old mother of three says she has not only found perfect balance between her two worlds - modelling fashion and horses - but that the two mix well.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, she said: "New Zealand is my base, so I focus a lot on my family and, of course, the horses.
"You have to be quite hands-on (with the horses), so I choose my (modelling) jobs now. I'm very fussy with what I take on.
"Horses are getting more interesting to me because I've gone from just being a breeder to being a racehorse owner and syndicator, and having lots of different areas that I'm involved in.
"It's a nice balance. They actually mould quite well together.
"With huge carnival events here or in Australia, or big events like the Derby, fashion and horses go together.
"It's all about glamour and glitz and that's why it's important to keep a nice balance of both in my life."
The supermodel moved to the United States in 1992 as her modelling career took off and over the years, she has appeared on the covers of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Maxim, to name a few.
She returned to New Zealand in 2013 and is currently the face of homegrown fashion label, Paula Ryan.
Bax, who is 1.78m-tall, grew up on a stud farm in Thames, Waikato, where her family was breeding horses.
She bought her own farm in Kentucky, United States, when she was just 21.
"Part of my everyday life was being around animals," she said.
"New Zealand has a great culture because it's all about living outside and being around the cows and the sheep...
"My upbringing was all about animals and farm life."