Sunday, 13 November 2011
: The final G1 for the year at Kranji has drawn a fantastic betting field and there is something for everyone in the S$1.3 million Longines Singapore Gold Cup (2200m).
The rich turf feature is the eleventh race on the card and a full field of sixteen plus one emergency is sure to attract terrific turnover.
Fourteen of the runners have at least one win in their formline over the last five starts.
Four runners have two wins and one has three victories on display.
The youngest runners are four-year-olds and the oldest are a pair of seven-year-olds, to show that the staying ranks in Singapore are in good hands.
The pair of seven-year-olds are significant because between them the last three Singapore Gold Cups have been won, with the Risky Business last year and El Dorado
in 2008 and 2009.
One could say that the epitome of timing is in fact trainer Hideyuki Takaoka, who with El Dorado
has a shot at history and three Gold Cups.
He won the race back-to-back with 50kg and his charge this year is peaking at precisely the right time and gets in at 52.5kg and has drawn the ace.
Speaking of big race timing, the glint in the eye of Clint
is back again and it is because he is racing at 2000m or further.
He rated a standout here with a decent barrier but has come up with fourteen or double seven if you try to put a positive lucky spin on it.
Clint at 2000m or further has raced six times at Kranji for two wins and four placings, so straight away he is your banker or anchor key in the Gold Cup.
His G1 win in the Singapore Derby was clear cut in good time after his rider John Powell enjoyed a fence trip before asking the stayer to come off in the run home and power past the favourite Better Than Ever.
The win is super significant, as he put away five of his rivals again today at set weights that have almost all done quite well since themselves in Flying Fulton (beaten three and a quarter lengths), Always Certain (just under five lengths), Speed Baby (just over five lengths), Fatkid (five and a half lengths) and Martial Art (six lengths).
Since a wee break after the Derby we see Clint has raced three times and trainer Cliff Brown has had his troubles but astutely has run the big gelding at WFA over 1600m and 1800m.
Brown has run him with 58kg each time and suddenly he parachutes into his other big race aim for the year with 52.5kg, which is a mouth-watering 5.5kg weight drop.
Form students will be trying to make a mint of Clint, as apart from a bad barrier it is hard to find anything but big ticks of confidence to make you feel lucky.
Well do you?
I have liked the way this preparation Clint has found that second wind stamina late in his races to show Brown has prepared him to Longines time.
Recent history shows the Gold Cup to have been a Luau for the lighter weighted runners, with four of the last five winners carrying 50kg or 50.5kg and the other winner had 54kg.
Is 2011 the year of a Fatkid
I like this runner as more than a double figure surprise winner, as many key form factors can be found with the Hor Khoon Tan trained five-year-old.
Fatkid is a turfy through and through and over 2000m he is two from four and the misses came at G1 under WFA.
He is stronger now and very clean-winded, so can be peaked with a spaced run and some trials.
Today he will carry 50.5kg and Saifudin Ismail will ride, with the 2200m for the first time not expected to pose any problems.
The gelding won at G3 over 2000m for Saifudin Ismail and at G2 over 2000m for Azhar Ismail, with what he beat and how quite compelling.
His G3 win came technically second up and saw three rivals again today finish behind him with weight difference and margin in the brackets, namely Clint (1kg less and beaten two and a quarter lengths, Risky Business (8.5kg more and beaten three lengths) and Martial Art (5kg more and beaten three and a half lengths).
His G2 win, which technically came fresh up, saw him beat two rivals today in again Risky Business (both carried 58kg and beaten three and a half lengths) and El Dorado
(both carried 58kg and beaten just under twelve lengths).
Fatkid has rolled the last three Gold Cup winners on turf with a weight pull and at the same impost and today will get 2kg from El Dorado
and 6kg from Risky Business.
He has to go into the multiples not somewhere but everywhere and barrier eleven in the eleventh race is hopefully Longines lucky.
The 2011 Gold Cup field sees several trainers with two or more representatives.
In fact bar Hideyuki Takaoka (El Dorado
), Mark Walker (Flying Fulton), Hor Khoon Tan (Fatkid) and Brian Dean (Honest Broker), who have just one runner, incredibly every other trainer has multiple chances.
Three trainers have triple representation, namely Steve Burridge (Speed Baby, Risky Business and Hint), Cliff Brown (Clint, Samurai Phoenix and the first emergency Steadfast Warrior) and Pat Shaw (Paulinho, Lizarre and Maurice Utrillo).
Two other trainers have dual representation, namely Michael Freedman (Always Certain and Nandowra) and Laurie Laxon (Martial Art and Gordon Roberts).
As good as Always Certain
was at winning at G1 over 1800m last start and two runs prior at G2 over 1800m, they were both at WFA.
He can carry the 58kg and bury opposition but today it is a handicap and giving away 1.5kg up to 7kg to some of his rivals from that last start win is a big ask.
I have an inkling the stablemate Nandowra on the minimum is more than just a second stringer and could be the surprise.
The farthest he has raced is 1600m but last start under 57kg he hit a flat spot then warmed up again like he had been trained for distance. Martial Art
is the big Laxon hope as Gordon Roberts
lacks the class of many here though he is tough.
Joao Moreira would like another Singapore G1 on the resume to go with the other one he has for trainer Laurie Laxon.
The draw is perfect and Martial Art just needs pace in the race and/or rain and he can win.
Burridge has three good chances, with the proven warrior Risky Business, the gifted Speed Baby that gets 1.5kg from Always Certain crucially here after being a luckless third to it last start and the one I keep referring back to as a must include in Hint.
The fitness levels of Hint will be perfect after his overland tough fifth last start and a wide brave fourth prior.
His distance record is super and at 50kg you just know he will find the line.
Shaw has three good chances too but Lizarre is his top prospect and to get him in this on the minimum of 50kg is a tribute to his planning.
Paulinho has shown he can win on the turf and trialled up well recently plus he is 7kg better situated against Always Certain from their last meeting.
Maurice Utrillo is honest and once you get too 2000m and further you are in his sphere of influence.
I think Brown only has one realistic chance in Clint, while Walker has one of the better weighted runners in Flying Fulton
but the extra 200m could be the concern after his brave fourth in the Derby.
Honest Broker will relish if they go a solid clip then this stayer can really show his potential but it is worth noting Ronnie Stewart, who has been aboard recently is going elsewhere.
Stewart is riding El Dorado
hoping to create history with a trio of Gold Cup wins for the horse, the trainer and himself.
Great race and betting contest, with the pace and tactical battle suspected but not known for sure, as for this sort of stakemoney sees rushes of blood rife and missing the boat commonplace.
Clint to capture his second monster G1 stake and the value is Fatkid, with a good chance to Hint.
Enjoy the race and no need to ask anyone what the time is!