Ex-pat Australian Shane Baertschiger enjoyed a hot 2018 season, finishing second to Lee Freedman on the Singapore premiership with 59 wins.
Baertschiger enjoyed one of his best weekends over Easter when last year’s juvenile champion Be Bee won the $250,000 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint before Aramco bagged the $200,000 Group III Rocket Man Sprint.
Baertschiger, who took over in Singapore on the retirement of his father Don, began his career as stable supervisor at Bukit Time in 1996. He was granted his assistant trainer’s licence in 1999, just before the move to Kranji.
Baertschiger played a key part in the stable’s long list of big race winners including 2008 Lion City Cup winner Capablanca.
In 2013 in just the second year out on his own, he landed the Kranji Sprint with El Milagro.
Baertschiger finished third on the premiership in 2017 behind Michael Walker, saddling 61 winners.
He has eight horses in work for Lincoln Farms.
Stephen Gray, son of respected Kiwi trainer Kevin Gray, moved to Singapore in 2000 and quickly climbed through the grades to be among the most successful trainers at Kranji.
Gray, 54, finished eighth on the premiership in 2017 with 46 wins and sixth in 2016 with 53 wins.
One of Gray’s best moments in Singapore came when over one weekend he bagged the 2017 Singapore Gold Cup with Bahana and the Group II Barker Trophy with Lim’s Cruiser.
His earlier scalps included the 2007 Singapore Derby with Lim’s Prestige, 2001 Kranji Sprint with St Kentigern and 2003 Patron’s Bowl with Lim’s Reward.
Gray, who trained 33 winners last season, has six horses in training for Lincoln Farms at his Copper Belt stables.
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Friday night at Kranji
Race 4: Darci’s Boy
6.50pm NZ time
“It will be too short for him - he’s a miler - but it was the only race for him. If he can get up outside the leader, he’s a small chance but he won’t be as fresh as the other day.’’
Race 8: O’Reilly’s Dancer
8.55pm NZ time
“We’re using this as a trial because he needs the run. He doesn’t handle the polytrack and he’s coming back to 1800 metres. We went forward on him last time but we’ll ride him quieter on Friday and see if he can handle the track.’’
News in brief
ROCK ME COUGHING: Trainer Stephen Gray didn’t pay up for Rock Me Easy to race this weekend as planned after the horse coughed a couple of times following his gallop on Tuesday. He is being treated with antibiotics and should be OK to run in three weeks.
MOONLIGHT WANES: A veterinary exam of Lincoln Moonlight failed to find anything amiss after he ran only sixth, four lengths from the winner on Friday night. The horse blundered on jumping, had to be eased off heels soon after, then was forced to race three wide throughout. Rider Matthew Kellady reported the horse raced keenly and tired noticeably in the run home.
SO LONG SAINT: Saint Lincoln will be sold to Malaysia after bleeding for the second time. The five-year-old won two of his 14 starts in Singapore for earnings of S$45,911.
MORE RAZZ: On The Razz enjoyed a roll in the sand before showing his first bit of sparkle at Kranji, running on well from last at the 300 metres to finish seventh. The 1000 metre trip was far too short for the son of Magic Albert, who is out of a Zabeel mare, but he is being fitted for a 1400 metre event in January.