Green Birdie Putts in KrisFlyer
Despite the heavy rain, the blessings for victory showered upon Green Birdie after winning the Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint at the Kranji Racecourse by a neck over local favorite Rocket Man.
This is the second year that a Hong Kong-bred competitor won after Sacred Kingdom also denied Rocket Man of the triumph last year. Green Birdie was steered to victory by New Zealand jockey Mark Du Plessis. Happy Zero who came from a poor draw settled for third.
Caspar Fownes, Green Birdie’s trainer, told that this was a victory that was built on skill and patience for their prized horse has been suffering from laminitis for 18 months. He also added that Green Birdie only outgrew her condition during the Sprint Cup wherein she was able to run on her own hooves.
Fownes also stated that they would like Green Birdie to race in Australia but they have yet to determine a specific horse race for their champion horse to participate in which means that they would look at the Australian horse racing calendar to determine the races that are suitable for their thoroughbred.
Meanwhile, Green Birdie’s owner, Roger Li honored Fownes and his horse for this victory. Li also mentioned the patience that they must employ to make sure that Green Birdie is 100 percent. Because of this victory, Li also stated that he will leave future decision on Green Birdie to Fownes.
On the other hand, jockey Mark du Plessis said that this is the greatest thrill of his jockey career so far for it is his first international victory. He also became worried about the conditions of the rain-soaked track but Fownes assured him that he has handled track conditions like these before.
Ecstatic Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Englebrecht-Bresges commented that Green Birdie has great potential and it was only a matter of time before she shows it. He also commended Fownes for the wonderful training that he gave the champion horse and he also exclaimed that this race shows that Hong Kong sprinters are at par with the best.
Also, Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director of Racing William A. Nader was also pumped up with the result of the race but he can feel for Singapore horse racing fans that have been denied of victory once again. Nader added that Singaporeans must be feeling a bittersweet emotion right now to have their champion horse denied yet again.
On another note, Nader also commended the strength and depth of the Hong Kong sprint horses. He also commended the run of Happy Zero for running well from the wide gate. Because of which, Happy Zero trainer John Moore appreciated the effort of his horse for it is hard to overcome the outside draw at the Kranji racecourse.
Moore also stated that Happy Zero will race at the Golden Jubillee at Royal Ascot in England and he sees another solid performance from his horse judging from her performance at the KrisFlyer. Moore also gave credit to Green Birdie’s performance after having difficulties with her footing on the early stages of the race.
Meanwhile, Rocket Man trainer Patrick Shaw was gracious in defeat and he said that it was the first time that his horse was run on the ground. However, he still commends his horse for giving everything he got but Green Birdie just put on a magnificent run.