Court orders racehorses sold to settle debts

Court orders racehorses sold to settle debts
Thoroughbred trainer John O'Hara, 49, said he took the case to court last month as "a last resort".

A district court has ordered four racehorses to be seized and sold to settle a creditor's demand, in what is believed to be the first such case here.

The court bailiff also authorised specialist horse auctioneer Wade Burridge from an Australian-linked firm to conduct the sale, which was announced last week.

Court-ordered seizures of debtors' properties to settle creditors' claims have in the past included jewellery, cars, liquor and an assortment of other goods.

The thoroughbred racehorses, named Mr Ikhlas, Sombrani, Warisan and Salsabila, were owned by three women related to each other.

Three of the horses aged between three and seven years old were originally acquired from Australia. Warisan came from Florida in the United States.

Mr Ikhlas, a seven-year-old gelding, has made three unplaced starts in Singapore so far and has won more than $120,000 in prize money previously in Australia, according to online records.

Sources said it is the practice for some de facto racehorse owners to register their wives or relatives as the legal horse owners to avoid the publicity or to get around insolvency issues, among other reasons.

The trio, Madam Siti Zuriana Mohamed Yusoff, her mother Madam Azizah Raihan, and Madam Khairani Abdul Rashid - who is Madam Siti's sister-in-law - had assigned the four horses to be managed and trained by O'Hara Racing Stables in Kranji in late 2011.

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