where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2009-06-01 07:38:23  

Singapore Gold Cup winning duo of trainer Hideyuki Takaoka and jockey Ronnie Stewart captured their second Group 1 victory each when Jolie’s Shinju took out the $500,000 Patrons’ Bowl over 1400m on Sunday.

The pair combined with El Dorado to win their initial Group 1’s in the 2008 Singapore Gold Cup last November in a bit of a shock result.

Again the pair upstaged their more fancied rivals when Jolie’s Sinju, the only mare in the 14 horse field, outsped her rivals to record a comfortable victory.

Having her first try beyond 1200m, Jolie’s Shinju scored by a length-and-a-half over Quiero Bailar (Barend Vorster) with Big Maverick (Saimee Jumaat) running on for third, a half length away.

Stewart made full use of Jolie’s Shinju early pace to come across from her barrier draw of 10 to take the fence, but at the same time deny Holtmail (Robbie Fradd) - which drew the extreme outside - from crossing her.

Coming off the back, Stewart allowed Fradd to “half-length” Jolie’s Shinju which Stewart claimed was the difference between winning and losing the Group 1 contest.

Turning for home Stewart allowed Jolie’s Shinju to kick back inside and the mare quickly opened up a three length margin on the chasing pack.

Although getting tired on the line, Jolie’s Shinju held on for a deserving victory.

“We were a little worried about her stepping up to the 1400m for the first time,” said Stewart. “But importantly she was able to get a bit of a breather midrace.

“We were going along quite quickly but by being a half length back inside of Robbie’s horse (Holtmail) just made her relax a bit and being an 1100m or 1200m horse I knew she would have a kick on the turn.

“I just didn’t know how much would be there, but she responded really well on the turn.

“She was really starting to feel the pinch in the final stages but I guess she was entitled to. Certainly getting that bit of a breather mid-race is what won her the race.”

After a slow start to his current contract in Singapore which kicked off at the beginning of April, Stewart has made the most of it over the weekend riding five winners – two on Friday and a treble on Sunday.

Prior to Friday night’s double, Stewart had not ridden a winner since El Dorado’s victory in the Singapore Gold Cup last November.

“I’m not complaining now,” said Stewart. “Things were very quiet to start with but I’ve been doing a bit of work with Mr Takaoka in recent weeks.

“He’s got some nice horses and he’s doing a great job with them. Hopefully this won’t be the end of the success.”

The winning smile of the happy Jolie's Shinju team.

Takaoka confirmed that Jolie’s Shinju would now be given the opportunity at 1600m when she contests the second leg of the four-year-old series – the Group 2 Singapore Derby Trial on June 21.

Stewart said he was unsure how the mare would handle the trip of the Derby Trial but said it was worth giving it a try.

“She’s at the top of her form and while she’s in that form it is worth having a go at that race,” said Stewart. “She might get run over late, but she’s a mare that always gives 100%.”

Takaoka said he had concerns when Jolie’s Shinju was headed by Holtmail as the field came off the back.

“She’s a lot more mature now and is settling a lot better,” said Takaoka. “I was worried that she might not settle when she was headed around the 800m mark.

“To his credit Ronnie was able to get her to settle. That suggests she should be able to go to the 1600m.

“We still don’t know if she will run the trip but we’ll give it a try.

“The thing with her is that she’s getting better all the time both mentally and physically.”

Jolie’s Shinju recorded her seventh win from 17 starts and took her prizemoney to around the $600,000 mark for the Hippocrates Stable. The mare is a Japanese bred four-year-old by Jolie’s Halo from the Danzig mare Endearing Quality.

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