Derby Peak on Aspen’s Horizon

Singapore success went the way of Pencarrow Stud bred galloper Aspen (Alamosa x Kirin Belle) with an impressive two-length victory in the S$60,000 Benevolent Stakes Class 4 1400m at Kranji last night.

Purchased by David Ellis of Te Akau Racing from the 2012 Karaka Premier Sale for $170,000, Aspen was having his second start for Te Akau’s Singapore trainer Mark Walker having previously raced in New Zealand when trained by Te Akau’s New Zealand trainer Jason Bridgman.

A Group 1 placegetter in New Zealand, Aspen had five starts in his homeland for one win before transferring to Singapore, finishing second at his first start at Kranji.

Rider David Flores settled Aspen well back in the 14-horse field. Flores patiently waited for runs to appear near the inside and picked a passage into the clear, hitting the front at the 100m mark and sprinting clear to win by two-lengths.

“He came up to Singapore as a colt and really felt the heat at his first run and we subsequently gelded him. He is a promising horse that I am looking forward to seeing go through the grades pretty quickly, I hope.

“Stake money in New Zealand, once they get out of their three-year-old grade, is not what everyone would hope for whereas the stake money up here for horses going through the grades is fantastic.

“Hopefully he does progress through the grades and I am hoping he could be Derby horse come July. If his form warranted it that is what we would hopefully be heading towards, obviously he still has to step up a long way.”

Yesterday was Aspen’s second career victory took his earnings past $67,000 for owners Te Akau Racing Stable.

Bred by Sir Peter Vela and Philip Vela, Aspen is out of dual winner Kirin Belle (McGinty), the dam of Group 2 winner Winning Belle and Group 3 winner Our Ella Belle (Encosta de Lago). Winning Belle is the dam of Group 3 winner Plucky Belle (Mossman) while another daughter of Kirin Belle, Lady Maroof (Maroof), is the dam of Group 2 USA winner Fabiani (Model Man) and Listed USA winner Star Empire (Second Empire).

Kirin Belle’s last foal is a two-year-old by Keeper named Safekeeping, also trained by Te Akau Racing’s Jason Bridgman.