Leading Man wins in Hong Kong

Gingerbread Man gelding Ima Single Man has broken a runs of outs in Hong Kong with an adventurous all-the-way victory in the Heung Yee Kuk Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin.

Saturday’s win was his first since January 2023 and it came about after trainer Tony Cruz decided to make a couple of gear alterations following two disappointing performances last month.  “I sent him to our Conghua stable and removed the hood and blinkers,” Cruz told stewards.  “I added a visor for a Conghua trial last week and he performed well after leading.

“I told Angus (Chung) to lead again today and I can’t believe it.  He’s a very laidback, switched off type of horse but once I took the hood off, he’s completely different.”

Ima Single Man (6g Gingerbread Man – Single Spice by Not A Single Doubt) was bred and sold by Yarradale Stud and won the G2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) wearing winkers in 2020.  He was sent off-shore after being sold to Fion Luk Sin Fong and has now earned the equivalent of AUD2.13 million.

Yarradale topped the 2023 Perth Magic Millions when the Blue Point filly from Single Spice made $350,000.  She’s been named Blue Pepper and was placed in a Lark Hill 2yo trial for trainers Grant & Alana Williams last month.

Single Spice has a yearling filly by Toronado (Ire) and was bred back to Playing God last year.

An hour before Ima Single Man saluted at Sha Tin, Yarradale combined with Dawson Stud owner Graham Daws as the breeders of Ascot winner Wubin Gold.  The 3yo daughter of Shooting To Win is from War Of Whispers (War Chant) who made headlines at the 2014 Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Offered by Dawson Stud, War Of Whispers was snapped up by Yarradale Stud for $250,000 after a spirited bidding battle.  Three different parties were bidding after the price passed $200,000 but it was Yarradale owner Ron Sayers who saw off the others when the hammer fell.

War Of Whispers didn’t reach the same heights as her older Stakes-winning siblings Covertly, So Secret and Secret Link only getting as far as Pinjarra maiden for trainer David Harrison.  Nevertheless, she can pay her way as a broodmare and, like Single Spice, she was covered by Playing God last year.

Daws also has a Hong Kong connection through outstanding sprinter Sight Success who he bred and sold for $45,000 at the 2018 Perth Magic Millions.  A son of Magnus, he has won to Group 2 level at Sha Tin and will return to Dubai for the G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) at Meydan on Sunday week.

Sight Success finished less than a length off boilover winner Danyah (Invincible Spirit) last year and he will be reunited with champion jockey Ryan Moore at the World Cup meeting on March 31.