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Brown's Gold Cup hopefuls resume in Committee's Prize

Trainer Cliff Brown is bringing his Queen Elizabeth II Cup last-starting duo of Laughing Gravy and Gilt Complex back to racing in the $200,000 Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1600m) this Sunday.

Brown's Gold Cup hopefuls resume in Committee's Prize

Trainer Cliff Brown is bringing his Queen Elizabeth II Cup last-starting duo of Laughing Gravy and Gilt Complex back to racing in the $200,000 Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1600m) this Sunday.

Laughing Gravy
Laughing Gravy Picture:Singapore Turf Club

Laughing Gravy Horseform fared better in the Group 1 QEII Cup which was for first time run over 1800m (from 2000m which he incidentally captured in 2016) on June 4, led from the start but despite a gutsy effort under visiting rider Damian Browne, had to settle for second spot behind Quechua.


Backmarker Gilt Complex races in a different pattern altogether from his stablemate, but still acquitted himself brilliantly with a fast-closing fourth, only just over half-a-length off Laughing Gravy.

The handicap conditions of the Committee’s Prize see the Brown pair much better off at the weights vis-à-vis Quechua who is again in the line-up but is this time round conceding Laughing Gravy and Gilt Complex 5.5kgs and 7kgs respectively.

Brown, however, preaches caution despite the obvious pull in weights. The Committee’s Prize has garnered a quality field made up of other top milers like Jupiter Gold, Best Tothelign and Nova Strike.

“They’re both doing fine, but I think they will both improve from the run,” said the Australian conditioner about his pair.

“Laughing Gravy wore the visors in the QEII Cup because the race was brought back from 2000m to 1800m for the first time this year, and they were meant to sharpen him up. He will obviously need them again this Sunday over the mile.

“If he goes to the Gold Cup, he may or may not need them anymore, we’ll see how it goes. Gilt Complex is also in good shape and Manoel Nunes will ride him because obviously Michael Rodd cannot make that weight (52kgs), and besides, he will be on Debt Collector when the big races come round.

“Similarly, Craig Grylls was available and will ride Laughing Gravy this time but he will probably be on War Affair next time, and Nunes will be on Infantry.

“Anyway, the rider issue is something else. To me, fitness-wise, they are both short of run, but we’ll see. It might be enough for both to run well, you never know.

“Whatever they do this Sunday, they will come on further which will be great for their next task – the Kranji Mile.”

Brown is aiming the duo at all three Legs of the prestigious Singapore Triple Crown series, kicking off with the Group 1 Panasonic Kranji Mile (1600m) on October 1. They then head for the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1800m) on October 22 before the time-honoured Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) comes up on November 12.

“Both horses will go for all three Legs,” said Brown.

Last year, Laughing Gravy, a seven-year-old by Primus, ran a creditable seventh to Bahana in the Singapore Gold Cup, in arrears by less than three lengths only, but Gilt Complex missed the cut as his then rating of 67 was below the cut-off mark of 71 points.

No such issues this year as the Graham Mackie-owned six-year-old son of Gold Centre has since won a three-in-a-row as well as running solid placings at Group level, including a cracking second to eventual Singapore Derby winner Infantry in the Group 3 JBBA Moonbeam Vase (1800m) in April.

Brown, who has yet to win the Holy Grail, the Singapore Gold Cup in 10 years of training at Kranji, can also bank on the Debt Collector option for the Triple Crown.

The reigning Singapore Horse of the Year made amends after a couple of disappointing runs this campaign with a performance which matched better his previous heroics in the Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) last Sunday.

Still, the conservative trainer is not getting ahead of himself, knowing how things can change dramatically after one or two races.

“We’ll take it one step at a time. Right now, those two (Laughing Gravy and Gilt Complex) have come on well since their last run, and Sunday’s race will tell me where they’re at,” he said.


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