For the first time, Malaysian racegoers will get to see a series for four-year-olds competing for the title of Champion Four-Year-Old in the country.
The 4YO Challenge series is to compensate for the cancellation of the 3YO Championship series last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of races and restrictions.
Owners who have purchased young horses with the 3YO series in mind missed out on the chance to see the “Class of 2020” competing against each other.
The southern hemisphere horses became one year older last August 1 and thus the introduction of the 4YO Challenge series, with a total prizemoney of RM500,000 as was allocated for the 3YO Championship.
The star amongst the current batch of four-year-olds has to be White Hoof Bird (Denman – Can She Move by Canny Lad) who was unbeaten in four starts last year when racing as Good Job. The Australian gelding has since been sold to new owners and renamed.
White Hoof Bird came to Malaysia with a record of one win and three placings in 11 starts Down Under but has taken the local scene by storm since his arrival.
Another notable name is Symbol Of Courage (Warhorse – Jivochka by Ustinov). Unplaced in two runs in Singapore, the Australian gelding has been placed in all his eight starts in Malaysia, winning three times.
Richard Lines, who trains Symbol Of Courage, has another multiple winner in Muhen (Atlante – Seraphina by Montjeu). Placed twice in seven runs last year, the New Zealand gelding has started 2021 on a bright patch, winning both his two runs in the new season.
A number of other four-year-olds have also found their mark in recent months. Among them are Fardus (Roc De Cambes – Latin Lass by Canny Lad), Glennafton (Highly Recommended – Skite by Pins), Trudy (Showcasing – Dansingonwaves by Danasinga), All White (Phenomenons – Joie De Lago by Encosta De Lago), Jet Twenty (Ruwi – Silver Springs by Exceed And Excel), D’Great Duchess (El Roca – Havana Miss by Red Ransom), Sha Na Na (Shamoline Warrior – Seattle Storm by Consolidation), Bangalore (Ruwi – Lonny by Lonhro), Leopard Eclipse (Road To Rock – Kathy O’Reilly by O’Reilly) and Golden Peak (Super Easy – Princess Zietta by Invincible Spirit).
The three Malaysian Clubs will each hold three heats with a purse of RM50,000 per race. There will not be a Final race, and then Champion 4YO horse will be determined by points system and earned an extra RM50,000.
Perak Turf Club will stage their first heat on April 4, with the other two on May 23 and June 27. Penang Turf Club will hold theirs on May 9, June 5 and 20. Selangor Turf Club has scheduled theirs on April 11, May 30 and July 4.
The winner in each heat will be awarded five points, with two points for second and one for the third-placed horse.
All races will be run under weight-for-age condition and the field will be limited to 12 runners plus three emergency acceptors.
For more information, please visit the respective club’s websites: