A brilliant son of Holy Roman Emperor, classy Australian bred sprinter Emperor Max (6g Holy Roman Emperor x Maxerelle, by Strategic) pleased connections with a stylish first up victory at Kranji in Singapore on Sunday in the Garden City Trophy Sng G3.
Twice second in the Group I Krisflyer International Sprint, the Stephen Gray trained six year-old surged late along the fence to snatch a decisive neck win in the 1200 metre sprint.
With an invitation to run at Ascot already in the mailbox, Emperor Max may have taken a step closer to the £600,000 Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (1200m) on October 17, but his Hong Kong owners Drs Gordon and Ernest Yau also have some boyhood dreams closer to home.
“I have talked to the boys and they are also keen on Hong Kong, which I totally understand and can’t go against even if some people think it is a tough race to crack,” said Gray in reference to the Hong Kong Internationals in December, particularly the Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) which is run around a bend the other way of going at Sha Tin.
“It would also be a dream to go to Ascot and I’m sure he will like the soft tracks there, but we also have to look at the costs of going to England. The 1200m there will be more like 1400m on the undulating tracks, and that will suit him even better as he is racing more like a 1400m horse these days.
“If he goes to England, we have the option of staying there and going to Hong Kong directly, but if we run in Hong Kong alone, he won’t run in Singapore again until then. I will just get him ready for that race and he will go there earlier.”
Emperor Max started his career in Australia for Peter Moody before transferring to Singapore and has the overall record of 10 wins and seven placings from 20 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 is one of 50 stakes-winners for Holy Roman Emperor, who is back in Australia this spring at a fee of $22,000.