Singapore Racing: Winning Again Not An Issue For Topweight Monkey

Though tasked to carry 58.5kgs at the handicap conditions in the $110,000 Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1600m) on Saturday, the Tim Fitzsimmons-trained Golden Monkey still looked the horse to beat.

A seven-time winner, including five at Group level, from 18 starts in Singapore, Golden Monkey is arguably in his best form.

The Star Turn five-year-old carried 58kgs at his last run in the Group 3 Fortune Bowl (1400m) yet scored comfortably by one-and-a-quarter lengths with visiting jockey Chad Schofield aboard.

Golden Monkey will have jockey Jaden Lloyd in the irons on Saturday.

With Schofield unavailable due to commitments in Australia, his cousin and jockey Jaden Lloyd will take the plum ride this time. While Golden Monkey will have four more kilos to carry than the second highest-rated runner, Invincible Tycoon, he could get the favours from barrier four.

The mile is no issue; he won the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) in July last year and backed that up after he took out the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) in the same month.

If Golden Monkey can continue his winning ways in the Committee’s Prize, he may pose a serious challenge to Kranji’s undisputed champion, Lim’s Kosciuszko, in the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on 18 May.

Connections are very confident, but they also have one eye on the big prize for a horse that continues to set the bar higher at every outing.

“The older he gets, the better he gets,” said part-owner and principal of Jig Bloodstock, Josh McLoughlan.

“He’s always been a beauty but as he matures, he has definitely become more tractable. He was keen in his early days and would get fired up too quickly in races.

“Tim has done such a good job with him and the beautiful thing now is that he (Golden Monkey) knows it when it’s game day.

“He still works well enough and trials okay, but now he saves his best for the races. That’s the sign of a really good horse.

“He showed that at his last start (Fortune Bowl). He was only 85% fit, carried 58gs and wasn’t far off a record time.

“So while he will have his game face on Saturday and can win, it’s no secret Tim won’t have him fully wound up until the Kranji Mile. That’s his grand final.”

McLoughlan, who was instrumental in flying in some of the world’s best jockeys like Hugh Bowman, Mark Zahra, Craig Williams and Chad Schofield to ride the Jig Racing/Elvin Stable-owned gelding in the local feature races, was more than happy with young Lloyd taking over on Saturday.

“It was Tim’s call (on the jockey) and a good one in my opinion,” he explained.

“It’s Chad’s ride going forward, so to have his cousin (Schofield and Lloyd’s mothers are sisters) warming the seat keeps it in the family.

“But make no mistake Jaden will suit this horse. He’s (Lloyd) got soft hands, is a patient rider and takes instructions.

“There is no secret in our game plan. We’ve drawn well again, so Jaden will put him to sleep early. Regardless of what’s going on around him, he should count to 10 or 15 into the straight before waking him up at the 300m.

“Jaden had a good feel of him at trackwork and would know what to do.”

Lloyd, whose father Jeff won the 2006 Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2200m then) on Mr Line for ex-Kranji trainer Pat Shaw, knows he might only get one chance on Golden Monkey and wants to make it count.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said the Australian jockey.

“I know I’m just warming the seat for Chad, but what a good seat to warm.

“He (Golden Monkey) won very well at his last start and I’ll ride him the same as Chad from the good draw. I just have to be patient.

“We know he can carry the weight and will be strong late but I have to respect those good horses on lightweights.

“Tiger Roar and Dream Alliance are two (runners) I will be watching out for, but I know I’m on the best horse in the race.”

McLoughlan agreed with Lloyd that down in the weights, Dream Alliance and Tiger Roar are horses to watch as they will carry 51.5kgs and 50kgs respectively.

“We aren’t much worse off than last start at the weights, but it’s a handicap (race),” he continued.

“So you have to watch those down in the weights and Dream Alliance is better than he showed in the Fortune Bowl, where he had no luck for (jockey) Bruno (Queiroz) from the wide gate (13).

“I might be biased as I bought this horse (Dream Alliance) for the owners (Legacy Power Racing Stable) and he looks to be a serious chance with no weight.

“Tiger Roar will definitely be in this with 50kgs, although (jockey) Manoel (Nunes) will probably ride him one or two kilos over. He ran on super in the Fortune Bowl and carried 56kgs then.

“So he (Tiger Roar) gets more than a six-kilo swing on us, which is significant, and I think (trainer) Dan (Daniel Meagher) has him going as good as he can.”

– Singapore Turf Club

Share this article