Another warm-up for Aramaayo ahead of 4YO series

Australian Group 3 winner Aramaayo kicks off his Singapore Derby campaign with a first 2020 run in the $85,000 RDA Cup, a Class 2 race over 1400m on Sunday.

Aramaayo (A'Isisuhairi Kasim) on left, gets beaten a neck by Per Inpower on November 29.
Aramaayo (A'Isisuhairi Kasim) on left, gets beaten a neck by Per Inpower on November 29. Picture: Singapore Turf Club

Known as Aramayo (just one 'a' less) when trained by James Cummings for the almighty Godolphin in Sydney where he won two races, one over 1550m at Canterbury in August 2018, followed one month later by the Group 3 Spring Stakes over 1600m at Newcastle, the son of another Godolphin great in Poet's Voice has already given his new connections some reassurance that ability had not been lost since moving to Shane Baertschiger's yard at Kranji in July.

Purchased with the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m), the third and final Leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, in mind, Aramaayo  ran second at his two Kranji starts, and could have even won with a bit of luck.

The Singapore debut came in a Class 3 race over 1400m in November when he was being hailed the winner as he hit the front down the straight, but was bloused out by Siam Blue Vanda in the dying stages.

Baertschiger had another roll of the dice three weeks later, this time up in grade in Class 2, and again over seven furlongs. Once more, he looked all set to pick up an early win but Per Inpower swooped down to deny him by a neck.

Nonetheless, the Australian handler was over the moon with the two runs, especially given the trips were not really made to suit.

"He's had a nice freshen-up after the two runs here," said Baertschiger.

"He ran very well considering the 1400m is not his best trip, and Sunday's race might be a bit sharp for him again.

"He's a good trackworker and has been working well, and I was very happy with his last gallop yesterday.

"He also went well at his two barrier trials (January 14 and 30). He's fully wound up now, but Top Knight will still be hard to beat.

"But you never know. He's got a lightweight, and over the Long Course on the E rail, he is not without a chance."

Baertschiger, who has Aramaayo's stablemate Aramco (both raced by the Aramco Stable) as one of the hot favourites to win the Champion Sprinter award at the 2019 Singapore Appreciation Awards ceremony on Thursday night, along with I'm Incredible who is in the running for the Singapore Horse of the Year title, can afford to have the same lofty ambitions for Aramaayo one day.

"We brought him over for the Derby," he said. "After Sunday's race, he will then run in the first Leg, the Silver Bowl in three weeks' time (February 29)."

The Group 3 Silver Bowl over 1400m was introduced as the new first Leg of the restructured Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge last year. In precedent years, the starting point was always the Group 2 Stewards' Cup (1600m) which has now become the second Leg and will be run on March 20 while the third Leg remains the Singapore Derby on April 18.

Singapore Turf Club