Bookmark and Share
Laxon continues his domination of 2YO series
Jonathan Wong

Trainer Laurie Laxon’s rising juvenile Kiwi Karma laid down an impressive marker as the one to beat ahead of the $325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) on May 16 with a slashing victory on Friday night.


Ridden by Manoel Nunes, the New Zealand-bred filly was a class above the rest of the field as she led from start to finish to claim the $90,000 Magic Millions National Yearling Stakes over 1200m.


It was Kiwi Karma’s second win in the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series after she took out the IRT Juvenile Stakes (1100m) on April 4, and sets the chestnut two-year-old up nicely for the grand finale of the six-race programme in two weeks.

Kiwi Karma (Manoel Nunes) pulls away to an easy win on Friday night.

Kiwi Karma had defeated Confeign (Oscar Chavez) and Rock Esprit (Barend Vorster) in her maiden victory last month and the pair were again on the losing side, although their order was reversed this time as Rock Esprit took second two lengths behind Kiwi Karma while Confeign was well adrift in third, another four lengths away.


The winning time on the Long Course was a brisk 1min 10.27secs, just over a second outside the course record of 1min 9.0secs set by Mexican Rose in 2010, who coincidently was also prepared by Laxon and was one of his standout youngsters before she retired.


The veteran Kiwi mentor is not one for superlatives but he was thoroughly satisfied with the performance of Kiwi Karma, who he rates alongside Affleck, another top prospect and Singapore Golden Horseshoe third leg winner, as the two best “babies” in his yard.


“She was very professional out there today,” said the eight-time champion trainer, adding that he was confident despite the step up in distance. “The 1200m was no problem for her. She was going to run on for a long time.”


Nunes, who collected an early winning double after saluting aboard the Desmond Koh-trained Beautiful World in the opening race of the evening and comfortably leads the premiership with 46 wins, was effusive in his praise for Kiwi Karma.

Happy connections: (from left to right) Trainer Laurie Laxon, Nanik Ramchandani, Stefan and
Susan Focas (Dsands Stable) and jockey Manoel Nunes celebrate their victory.

“She jumped really well and got into a nice position very easily,” said the Brazilian rider, who also piloted Kiwi Karma in last month’s all-the-way 2 ¼ lengths victory.


“She’s improved a lot since that last run. She’s much more relaxed now and this was actually even easier than the last time. I almost didn’t have to use my whip to win today.”


Traveling right next to the fence, Kiwi Karma looked very much the $8 short odds favourite and was largely uninterrupted throughout the trip, with Masurao (Alan Munro) doing his best to keep pace over the first three furlongs.


It would prove a costly and ultimately futile exertion as the Hideyuki Takaoka-trained gelding looked gassed by the home straight and missed out on a minor placing by a short head to finish fifth.


It was left to Rock Esprit to mount a challenge and while the Australian-bred bay gelding mustered a commendable effort and managed to close the gap on the runaway leader, the result was never in doubt.


What was up for debate however, was Laxon’s predictions on how his two up-and-coming galloper will fare when they face each other at the year’s first feature race for two-year-olds in two weeks’ time.


He will send out Affleck, owned by the Oscar Racing Stable, in next Friday’s Inglis Sydney Better Life Stakes (1000m) before backing him up for the big race.


“She’s going to have to beat the boy (Affleck) if she wants to win,” Laxon said, refusing to pick sides. “I like both of them. I don’t want to disappoint either of their owners.”


By Fast ‘N’ Famous out of Miss Purrfection, Kiwi Karma is owned by the Dsands Stable and has proved to be a savvy purchase for his connections, having won around $115,000 in stakes earnings thanks to two wins and a second from three starts.