𝐑𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐨 𝐋𝐞 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞, 𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐳𝐨'𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫, 𝐭𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐚 𝐟𝐞𝐰 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐠𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐲 𝐩𝐮𝐳𝐳𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐳𝐨, 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐰𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐭𝐰𝐨-𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫-𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐚𝐭 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭.
Given his Argentinian ancestry, it came as a surprise when Le Grange said after the race that he "was more suited on grass." He had previously had two strong turf races, including his maiden victory, followed by a flop on the Polytrack in novice company at his third start.
Even the best trainers occasionally make mistakes.
Renzo bombed once more at his subsequent start, this time on the grass, so his perplexed trainer immediately went back to the drawing board.
After that, blinkers were added, and Renzo made a quick comeback on the Polytrack. At his sixth start, Renzo easily won over 1200m in Class 4 Company.
After eight races, that strategy has shown to be effective, and on Sunday, in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1200 meters, he will return to the Polytrack after a test on the turf on June 18 in the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint, where he finished sixth to Golden Monkey.
Le Grange admitted in an interview on Thursday that "he had me in a spiral" with this horse.
"At the barrier trials, he didn't exhibit any performance on the sand (Polytrack), so we began him on the grass, which appeared to be a wise choice at the outset.
"Although he can handle the turf and wasn't disgraced in the 3YO Sprint, his breeding has come through, and the Poly(track) is unquestionably his best surface.
And the blinkers helped him focus, so he hasn't really made a mistake since they were put on.
Le Grange is confident of a strong run even if the horse is drawn wide and is being ridden by rookie trainee jockey Fahmi Rosman.
I suppose the planets aligned on Sunday, despite the fact that the gate (number nine) is a little challenging, he continued.
"Young Fahmi may experience a significant event, but we wanted to lose weight, and it would be wonderful to give him his first victory.
"He doesn't need to take the lead because (jockey) Vlad (Duric) will likely do so on (trainer) Tim Fitzsimmons' horse (Gold Ten Sixty One), allowing Fahmi to observe the race's early developments.
"The horse is obviously in a good place; he trialed up well last week and his trackwork has been good. He should do well Sunday and moving forward, as he is better than Class 4," the trainer said.
Le Grange believes that his Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) entrant, Hongkong Great, has a lot to offer in Singapore after the former Hong Kong victor trialed second behind stablemate Pennywise in a heat. Le Grange recently returned from a rare vacation to visit his family in the US. This morning, No. 3.
Every time he rides, I discover something new about this horse, he remarked.
"His three victories in Hong King were all over the 1650-meter distance; hence, we are considering the (Group 1) Queen Elizabeth Cup (1800-meter) and the (Group 1) Singapore Gold Cup (2000-meter), but the 1200-meter (Lion City Cup) next Sunday will serve him well going forward.
As a result of his strong first-up performance, enjoyment of his work, and positive morning trial with (race jockey) Vlad, we anticipate that he will do well in the Lion City Cup.
What will happen to the South African handler's well-earned break?
"In any case, it was a much-needed respite and a ton of fun because I hadn't seen my parents or sister's family in almost two years.
We traveled a lot; it was a busy time, but it was wonderful to be with family and even better to watch the stable fire while I was away.
In fact, the stable repeated a type of tradition on July 24 with a race day double featuring King Louis and Senor Don.
"Yes, I always managed to obtain one or two winners when (boss and former Kranji trainer) Pat (Shaw) used to leave, and now (assistant-trainer) Jacci (de Tert) has continued the trend.
We are both a part of the Pat's system, and she is the foundation of the stable. She is tough as nails yet always there for everyone.
Barend Vorster, a former Kranji-based and stable jockey who won the South Australian Metropolitan Jockeys' Championship on July 31 while Le Grange was in the US, was another who flourished under the Shaw umbrella.
Le Grange expressed his pride in the jockey who guided the powerful Rocket Man to victory no fewer than seven times, saying, "I'm so very proud."
"To us all, Brendan is like family, and we are all so pleased for Nikki (wife) and Brendan," says the group (son).
"It's a fantastic accomplishment, even if it was a major move,"