Racing: Better Life to fly off next month

Better Life, ridden by English jockey Alan Munro, galloping to the Emirates Singapore Derby crown on July 14.

SINGAPORE - Singapore's champion mare Better Life will be leaving next month for stud duty in Australia.

Trainer Hideyuki Takaoka said on Wednesday that his four-classic winner is booked to fly off on Aug 15.

The four-year-old mare by runaway Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones will be covered by one of Australia's top sires, Sebring, at Widden Stud in New South Wales.

A Group 1 Golden Slipper winner, Sebring commands an A$38,500 ($45,000) service fee.

According to Widden Stud website, the chestnut was a top five stalllion last year to have sired the most number of yearlings sold for A$100,000 or more at the major sales.

He was the leading first-season sire by stakes winners, stakes performers and overall individual winners in 2012/2013.

Sebring is by dual champion two-year-old sire More Than Ready from the daughter of Golden Slipper winner Flying Spur.

The news of Better Life retiring as a broodmare after her win in the $1.15 million Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby two Sundays ago came as a shock, considering that the mare was at the prime of her racing career.

But her owner Suzuka Racing Stable preferred its champion not to be overraced before her stud career. Better Life also won Group 2 Queen Elizabeth II Cup in April.

Last year, she won two Group 1s, the Panasonic Kranji Mile and the $1.35 million Longines Singapore Gold Cup and was voted Champion Miler and Champion Stayer.

In all, Better Life raced 14 times at Kranji for eight wins, two seconds and a third. She amassed $2.05 million in prize money.

loon@sph.com.sg

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