Nandowra Gives Stable A Winning Lift

Nandowra overcame a less than perfect start to still go on and score a narrow win in Friday night’s Gr 3 Yew Tee Classic Stakes (1900m) to boost trainer Michael Freedman’s spirits. Victory with the WS graduate at Kranji gave him something to cheer about following the untimely loss to injury of his stable star Super Easy this week.
The Singapore Horse of the Year was retired to stud less than 24 hours after bouncing back to his very best in the Gr 1 Patron’s Bowl (1600m), bringing a premature and anti-climatic end to the best horse Freedman has prepared in his young training career. But from the way the Yew Tee Classic Stakes got underway on Friday night, it looked like Freedman would have to wait for another occasion to get his yard back on track.
Sent out as the second favourite, Nandowra, a very honest sort with a solid record of eight wins from 27 runs, blew his chances when he shanghaied out of the gates, unbalancing his rider Manoel Nunes for a number of strides, before the latter regained control to sit outside leader and race-favourite Ready To Strike, ridden by Alan Munro. The pair remained in that order till the top of the straight where both Munro and Nunes gave their mounts their heads. With both horses well renowned for their tough-as-nails tenacity, they unsurprisingly did not give each other an inch inside the final furlong as they waged a titanic battle with Nandowra eventually found more to earn the verdict by a head from Ready To Strike.
Freedman described Nandowra as a bulldog who never shirks a fight, and said he was glad he had secured another feature race after landing the Gr 3 Polytrack Mile Championship in March, especially at a time when the stable needed it the most. “The stable was dejected after losing our No 1 horse last Sunday, but this win will be a nice tonic,” Freedman told the Singapore Turf Club’s website. “Things didn’t quite go our way, though, when Manoel nearly got dislodged. Our plan was to dictate the race, but I guess it worked out all right taking a sit on Laurie’s (Laxon) horse (Ready To Strike) in the end.
“The thing about this horse is he never wins by big margins and he’s done it again. He always waits for the other horses and seems to like getting down to a bit of a scrap. We decided to put the winkers on him as I feel he’s a horse who cannot have nothing on him. He didn’t seem to like the blinkers, and winkers are probably something in between. He’s very competitive in this type of race. I’ll probably give him a freshen and look for a similar weight-for-age race over 1600m or 1800m later in the year when he gets back.”

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