Tannhauser eyes better things
Trainer Michael Clements has earmarked the $1 million Group 1 Lion City Cup for his four-in-a-row hero
The 2017 Singapore racing season came to a close on Sunday but it could spell the beginning of an exciting chapter for rising galloper Tannhauser, who put up a majestic performance to grab Race 10 that day.
Trainer Michael Clements has already set his sights on bigger things for his four-in-a-row hero - starting with the $200,000 Group 3 New Year Cup on Jan 1 and possibly a crack at the $1 million Group 1 Lion City Cup in May.
The traditional curtain raiser for the new year, the New Year Cup will see its distance slashed from 1,900m to 1,200m on the Polytrack for the first time, which will suit Tannhauser.
All the four-year-old's four victories were on the Polytrack and two of them were over the 1,200m trip.
The Lion City Cup will be run on turf and Tannhauser's only defeat was on the turf at his debut in November last year. Then came his four consecutive wins.
Clements will obviously try his exciting find on the turf at some stage leading to the $1 million sprint to assess his capability on that surface.
Tannhauser did show plenty of guts in winning first-up from a five-and-a-half-month spell on Sunday in a Class 3 1,000m sprint, which was not his ideal distance. He was just fresh.
For him to be hunted up after a slow start and get up to beat some nice sprinters clearly demonstrated his will to win.
Both Clements and newly crowned champion jockey Vlad Duric were full of praise for the New Zealand-bred by the fashionable sire Tavistock.
"Well, it was not easy over 1,000m coming up just about last," said Clements, who has had a great year with the likes of his multiple Group-winning Alibi and Countofmontecristo and now having lofty dreams with this exciting find.
"They go very fast in this class and he had a good amount of ground to make up, but he did. You know, he was very quick on his feet and he did make up ground fairly easily.
"Turning for home and towards the end, we knew he was going to finish off well.
"He ended up doing it the hard way, but he has had a bit of time off and, obviously, he's looking for a bit further, so it was a pretty classy performance.
"He has come back very strong and, of course, looking to get him over a bit further going forward."
What's on the radar for Tannhauser?
"Well, there's this sprint feature in January, we'll probably look at that," said Clements, referring to the New Year Cup.
"Then probably the early legs of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Series and, hopefully, into a race like the Lion City Cup."
Duric called Tannhauser a beautiful mover who, hopefully, could progress further to run a good race next year.
"He's not a 1,000m horse, I mean he's probably better over 1,600m and maybe even further down the track, you know," said the Australian.
"A beautiful mover and I just had to make sure I was in the right spot on him and trusted his ability.
"He was still a bit raw and green in the straight. He ran around like he had too many bees but he's a beautiful horse.
"So, hopefully, he'll just keep progressing through his grades and we might see him in a good race next year. He's getting better every time, so he's a nice progressive horse."