Saturday, September 4, 2010


STATUE OF LIBERTY has been flying high: both figuratively and literally.
Winging his way down under from Japan (via California), the star son of Storm Cat is producing a flock of winners in preparation for his arrival at Eliza Park where he will again cover a full book of mares.
Although he didn’t have a runner on the first day of spring, his 4YO mare Zip Express duly got the money at Strathalbyn on Thursday (2 September) – her second victory at the course.
But it was in the last 10 days of August that Statue of Liberty gave plenty of notice with a double on the 20th (Golden Star and Knight Spirit – more on them in a tick), another double on the 22nd with Liberty Lady and Beetuna, winners on the 24th (San Sofia) and 25th (The Hamptons), plus winners on the 28th (Supportoftheboard) and 31st (Statue’s Angel).
Terrific run … and to highlight his global appeal, the victories were recorded in six different countries.
Golden Star (aka In The Crown) was a Group One winner in Macau in April and won the Mac$294,300 The Arbitrator (1300m) at Taipa on the 20th, while some 2500kms away, Knight Spirit notched up another impressive victory in Singapore.
Trained by Brian Dean, Knight Spirit was capturing his second straight victory after finishing second on debut.
Singapore Turf Club’s Craig Brennan takes up the tale: Lightly-raced Knight Spirit stamped himself an above average galloper with his victory in the $65,000 Novice Stakes over 1200m.
Ridden closer to the speed than expected, Knight Spirit (ridden by John Powell) scored by three-quarters-of-a-length over Inuvik with Market On Open the same margin away third.
Trainer Brian Dean said it would be a while before Knight Spirit is again seen in a race over 1200m.
“Wait until you see him over 1400m and 1600m,” said Dean. “That win tonight was full of class.
“I knew he would knuckle down late and to win with that weight was a very good effort. He’s a real professional racehorse who just does everything right.
“I’ll give him a little break now, but I can’t wait to get him onto the turf and step him up in distance.”
Dean said his wife Wendy picked out the gelding as a yearling: “I had a look at him when he was a yearling and liked what I saw,” said Dean. “I was lucky enough to be able to buy him.”
Powell who has been aboard the gelding in each of his three starts, said he had to ride Knight Spirit a lot closer to the speed.
“He was ridden upside down,” said Powell. “He’s much better suited being ridden with patience and allowed to finish his race off.
“He’s a smart horse and will be even better off once he steps up to 1400m or a mile. He’s got a nice future.”
Knight Spirit, a 4YO by Statue Of Liberty from the Jackson Square mare Minstrel Lady, took his prizemoney to around $80,000.

Knight Spirit wins at Kranji. Photo courtesy of Singapore Turf Club

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