Classy Australian bred sprinter Emperor Max (6g Holy Roman Emperor x Maxerelle, by Strategic) returned from a six month spell in Singapore on Sunday to win the Kranji Sprint Sng Gr 3 with a dominant display.
Twice second in the Group I Krisflyer International Sprint, the Stephen Gray trained six year-old proved his superiority over Singapore’s best sprinters to win the 1200 metre contest by three-quarters of a length.
“He’s not the freakiest horse, but he’s just a very, very good horse. He’s the best sprinter in Singapore and he’s showed it today,” Gray said.
“We had to bring him back after he ran in England, and get him going again, but he’s a great horse and we don’t have to do much.
“I’d like to travel with him again, but he’s already done so much for us. He’s a dream horse to train and we’ll focus on his next target which is the Lion City Cup.”
The Champion Sprinter of Singapore for 2015, Emperor Max started his career in Australia for Peter Moody before transferring to Singapore and has the overall record of 11 wins and seven placings from 22 starts.
Foaled and raised at Kitchwin Hills for his owner/breeders, Emperor Max is the best of two winners from Group III placed Strategic mare Maxerelle, who died in 2013.
Emperor Max was part of an Asian stakes double for Holy Roman Emperor, whose Irish bred son Beauty Only (5g Holy Roman Emperor x Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) (pictured) won the Chairmans Trophy HK Gr 2 over 1600 metres at Sha Tin on Sunday.
“He’s a genuine Group 1 horse, I’ve believed that from day one, and this win gives me confidence for the Champions Mile,” said his trainer Tony Cruz.
The victory was Beauty Only’s first since a 1400m Class 1 handicap score back in September.
Last season’s HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Mile victor had posted some smart efforts in defeat since, including fourth in January’s G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) and third to Contentment in the following month’s G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), but the Holy Roman Emperor gelding headed into this assignment off a lacklustre fifth to Rewarding Hero in a mile Class 1.
“He needs top of the ground,” said Cruz. “He didn’t get that last time but today he was the best horse in the field at this distance and on this surface. The faster the ground the better: Champions Mile next!”