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Sky Boy's win a tribute to Dato Tan

3 min read

Promising 4-year-old Sky Boy (Pendragon {NZ}) provided a fitting tribute to Dato Tan Chin Nam on a day which the Malaysian businessman tasted some of his biggest successes.

The thoroughbred industry mourned Dato Tan's passing this week at the age of 92 and at Randwick on Saturday, Sky Boy, carrying the famous white, black and yellow colours of his Think Big Stud, romped to victory in the Cellarbrations Hcp.

Making the moment even more significant was the fact that Sky Boy is prepared by Anthony and Edward Cummings, the son and grandson of Bart Cummings, who combined with Dato Tan to win four Melbourne Cups and three Cox Plates.

Anthony Cummings with jockey, Christian Reith following Sky Boy's win

"It's very fitting on Cox Plate Day that he gets a winner. He's been a great support to our family and he's a great loss." - Anthony Cummings reflecting on the loss of Dato Tan Chin Nam

Pendragon was Think Big Stud's foundation sire, while Sky Boy's dam, Zazabelle (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) was raced by Dato Tan and trained by Bart Cummings to run third in the 1999 Melbourne Cup.

As Winx (Street Cry {Ire]) won a fourth Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, Anthony Cummings was left to reflect on the Cox Plates his father and Dato Tan won with Saintly (1996) and So You Think (NZ) (2009, 2010).

"It's very fitting on Cox Plate Day that he gets a winner," he said. "He's been a great support to our family and he's a great loss."

Bart Cummings and Dato Tan Chin Nam following Viewed's win in the 2008 Melbourne Cup

It was also a significant moment for jockey Christian Reith, who paid tribute to Dato Tan having given Sky Boy a perfectly-rated ride at just his ninth start.

"It was a shock to the racing industry and he's been a loved man. He's been a big supporter of racing and I'm pleased to be able to wear these colours today," he said.

Reith has a high opinion of Sky Boy, who he feels will continue to improve as he learns.

"I think he's got the makings of being a really nice horse. He's still learning his trade and he's still doing a few little things wrong," he said.

"I think he's got the makings of being a really nice horse." - Jockey Christian Reith

"He just got to relax a bit more. He's got the groundings there and if he keeps making those steps, he can make the grade."

Cummings, too, feels that Sky Boy will be paying tribute to his owner and breeder for some time to come.

"He really is a very nice horse and he has got a big future ahead of him. Today was as good as he's raced. He's shown improvement since last time. I expect he’ll improve again," he said.

"He's basically in school, he's learning about his craft and what’s in front of him. By the time the autumn comes around, he’ll be an A-grade student and on with the job."

Pendragon's sole stakes winner has been Miss Gunpowder, who was also raced by Dato Tan.