Singapore Horse of the Year The Inferno in prime order for Saturday's G1 Goodwood Stakes.

Photo credit \ Ryan Racing Photos

Brown Hot on The Inferno’s Group 1 Prospects

Cliff Brown always had confidence his 2020 Singapore Horse of the Year The Inferno would be a match for the best sprinters in Australia.

The now Mornington-based trainer returned to his homeland last year after a successful 12-year tenure in Singapore with his Westbury Stud-bred and sold star in tow and the son of Holy Roman Emperor quickly made his mark.

The Inferno won the G2 McEwen Stakes at his second Victorian start before finishing runner-up in the G1 Moir Stakes and will strip in prime order for Saturday’s G1 Goodwood at Morphettville.

“He’s very well and has trained on nicely. He’s in good shape so we are full of hope,” the affable Brown said. “He has drawn well, although you still need a bit of luck wherever you draw, but I’m really happy with him.”

The Inferno was a multiple stakes winner during his Singapore career and from nine appearances, suffered a lone defeat when he finished runner-up at his fifth start.

In Australia, he has added a further victory and twice placed, including a last-start third from a wide gate in the G3 McKay Stakes, in six starts.

“In fairness, his record probably doesn’t tell the full story. Twice I haven’t had him fit enough and in the G1 Lightning he got clean bowled and nearly fell and in The Everest he hated the heavy track.

“When he’s right and had a good run in transit, he has performed very well.”

The Inferno was purchased out of Westbury’s 2018 draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Karaka for $140,000.

“I didn’t actually buy him, it was Chris Bock who was my Racing Manager who purchased him,” Brown said.

“He said he had a lot of length and a good walk and thought he would develop into a good-looking horse and he was right.

“Chris finished up with me after 20-something years about six months ago. He’s gone on to a new chapter in his life, but we still talk all the time.”

A son of Holy Roman Emperor, The Inferno is out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Spina Rosa, who is closely related to the dual Group 1 winner Lotteria, and her only other foal to race is the multiple winner D’Aguilar (High Chaparral {Ire}).

Westbury will also be keeping a close watch on the Flemington meeting where Romancer will defend his crown in the Listed Straight Six after causing a 100-1 boil-over 12 months ago.

Bred by farm principal Gerry Harvey and Whangateau Thoroughbreds, the Grahame Begg-trained Redwood gelding was a $110,000 Karaka graduate. He is a son of Romantically, a half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Sirmione.

She has a yearling colt by Telperion and foaled a Reliable Man colt last season before returning to Redwood.

Home-bred Ranting and last-start winner for Leon and Troy Corstens will also tackle the Straight Six.

The Zoustar four-year-old was a A$280,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale purchase and is the first foal of the More Than Ready mare Vanilla Ice Cream, who is from the family of the multiple Hong Kong Group 1 winner Vengeance Of Rain. 

Also in action on the Flemington undercard is the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-prepared Natural Mystic, who was successful on debut at Pakenham last month.

He is by Tarzino and following his son Jungle Magnate’s G1 South Australian Derby victory last weekend was also represented this week by By Nine and Star Ballot, winners at Hawkesbury and Riccarton respectively.

In New South Wales, Westbury graduates Marroni and The Frontman will go head-to-head in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup while on the home front, El Roca’s gifted son Wewillrock steps out in three-year-old company at Te Rapa.

The Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen-trained gelding has consecutive Group 3 placings to his credit in the Almanzor Trophy and from the outside barrier in the Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes.

He looks a strong chance on Saturday after drawing ideally in gate two.