Kiwi Karma gives Clements first stab at Internationals

Kiwi Karma gives Clements first stab at Internationals
Singapore Turf Club: Boonk Lim
From the list of Singapore trainers with a starter at this Sunday’s International meeting, Michael Clements will be the only one at his “maiden” appearance.

The Zimbabwean-born conditioner has been a stalwart in the local training ranks since 1998, but had previously never saddled any galloper in either of the two international Group 1 races, the $3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) or the $1 million KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m), citing the lack of a worthy candidate as the reason for watching the glamour events from the stands.

That was until the emergence of smart WS-bred filly Kiwi Karma, even if he only just took over her preparation.

Kiwi Karma and her jockey Manoel Nunes will take on some of the world’s best sprinters at the KrisFlyer International Sprint on May 17.

The three-year-old needs no introduction. Originally prepared by Laurie Laxon for whom she excelled as a juvenile, the daughter of Fast ‘N’ Famous has continued to thrive since moving to Clements’ yard this year, bagging three wins in a row, including the Group 3 CECF Singapore Prestige Classic (1400m) and the Group 3 Dester Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) to bring a terrific record of six wins and five seconds for stakes earnings in excess of $670,000 for her connections, the Dsands Racing Stable in just over a year.

Her close fourth to War Affair in the Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) two weeks ago gave Clements enough confidence to pit the chestnut filly against some top international names in the KrisFlyer.

“Previously, I haven’t entered a horse in any of the International races because I haven’t had a horse of international quality,” said Clements.

“You have to have horses rated above 100 internationally in order to be competitive.

“Kiwi Karma has been doing really well. She has been eating all her feed and she looks really bright when she is on her own.

“In fact, she has been doing everything right since her last run at the Lion City Cup. When we were preparing her for the Lion City Cup, we knew she had to improve significantly to run a good race.

“She has proven she could handle the step up into Group 1 with a much improved performance from her previous run (the Dester 3YO Sprint).”

The KrisFlyer will be a different kettle of fish with the likes of the winner of the past two editions, Lucky Nine back in the fray, along with two members of Hong Kong’s elite band of sprinters, Aerovelocity and Rich Tapestry, not to mention two of the horses who beat her in the Lion City Cup, Zac Spirit and Emperor Max. But Clements seemed confident Kiwi Karma would not disgrace herself come D-day.

“(Manoel) Nunes had a run out with her this morning and he mentioned she looks to be in good form,” said Clements.

“I believe she has a good chance in the race.”

The Brazilian jockey had nothing but praise for the form Kiwi Karma is in.

“I rode her this morning and she is going very well,” shared Nunes.

“She is definitely in good form. From the gallop we did, I can see she is happy. She looks fresh and very bright.

“We are all just waiting for Sunday to come.”

The Nunes-Kiwi Karma partnership has been a successful one, with the current numbers standing at six wins in 10 outings. Whether the statistic could read 7-11 in a little over a week’s time remains to be seen.

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