GOLD CUP GLORY FOR GILT COMPLEX

Singapore Cup day some 12 months ago, the stable was cheering home Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown aboard Gilt Complex in the Kranji stakes C over 1800m, the consolation race for Gold Cup aspirants that did not make the field. Feeling somewhat bemused by the handicappers decision to leave Gilt Complex out of the 2016 Gold Cup, Corey remarked post race that had he gained a Gold Cup start he would of been a huge light weight chance.

Fast forward to Sunday, and a plan hatched a year ago by Cliff together with owner Graham Mackie came to fruition, with Gilt Complex winning the 2017 Singapore Gold Cup, in one of the best finishes seen in many years. Racing is such a tough game and more often than not plans do not come off (particularly 12 month plans!), but in a training masterclass by Cliff, Gilt Complex peaked at exactly the right time, to prove he is the best stayer in Singapore and add the third leg of the Triple Crown to go with his Raffles Cup Victory some 3 weeks ago.

With a perfect draw in 2, and with stable jockey Michael Rodd able to take the ride with stable star Debt Collector not attempting to add the Gold Cup this year to his fabulous CV,  the omens were looking good for Gilt Complex to run the race of his life. What Gilt Complex had to contend with was a recent race history of light weight winners and also one of the most open Singapore Gold Cups for many a year, which included stablemates Elite Excalibur and Laughing Gravy.

Using his good gate to advantage Rodd was able to have Gilt Complex out quickly and had him well positioned before the first turn, which was critical as it was a charge of the light brigade with those drawn wide looking to cross over towards the front of the field. Elite Excalibur was one of these, but unfortunately stable mate Laughing Gravy copped severe interference with Emporer’s Banquet looking for the rail when not clear and clearly costing the big bay 3 or 4 lengths as Craig Grylls had grab hold of Gravy so as not to fall.

From there a genuine tempo was set with leaders Order Of The Sun and Forever Young matching strides with Elite Excalibur in the “one back and one out” position next to last year’s winner Bahana followed by Gilt Complex on the outside of Newlands. With 800m to go the runs started to commence with Newlands the first to make a move, attempting to angle out, faultering and dropping back through the field. Rodd avoided the back wash and on straightening had Gilt Complex in the clear and ready to let rip at the top of the straight some three lengths off the leading pack.

With the leaders weakening, it looked like last years winner Bahana and Elite Excalibur had the race between them, going toe to toe up the straight with Gilt Complex grinding away just behind them, and Majestic Moments setting sail down the outside. At the 200m with the three nearly in a line and no room between for a improving Gilt Complex, Rodd switched the big son of Gold Centre back to the rails. Once clear on the rails Gilt Complex found another gear and with all jockeys throwing everything at their mounts, Gilt Complex and Bahana hit the line together with Elite Excalibur inches away. Race Caller Matthew Jones’s voice “It’s a photo in the Gold Cup” echoed around Kranji Racecourse.

The decisive move…Michael Rodd charges home late on the rails to Claim the 2017 Singapore Gold Cup.

Trained to the minute, Gilt Complex out stays them to grab Gold Cup Glory.

It took an agonizing few minutes for the result to be known and when number 2 went into the frame, joy took over. An emotional Rodd paid tribute to the team effort heaping praise on both Cliff and B trainer Tim Fitzsimmons for their incredible efforts with the team of horses, and of course the courage of Gilt Complex on the biggest stage of them all. There were great scenes at the winners stall with owners and connections joining in for the post race photo’s and then the formal presentation post race.

Michael Rodd salutes the bumper Gold Cup Day crowd.

Cliff, owner Trish Dunell and Michael Rodd with the much coveted Gold Cup Trophies.

Happy Connections!

The Gold Cup, one of the Jewels of Singapore Racing

Stable mate Elite Excalibur was incredibly brave in running third, (his third Group 1 placing this year), and is sure to capture Group 1 Glory in Singapore. Laughing Gravy battled on into 8th place with pre-race plans ruined by being bumped after jumping and copping a severe check at the winning post the first time round.

The Gold Cup victory continued the stable’s great run in the feature races in Singapore, winning the last two group 1’s of the season to go with a record haul of 5 Group 1 wins last season.  This season the stable also had Group 1 2nd place finishes in the Patron’s Bowl (Elite Excalibur), QE 11 Cup (Laughing Gravy), Raffles Cup (Elite Excalibur), and 3rd place in the Kranji Mile (Debt Collector) and the Gold Cup (Elite Excalibur).

Gilt Complex has been a revelation since joining the stable in March 2016, and through Cliff’s careful planning has achieved the ultimate success. It’s been a huge team effort with from his Syce Shar looking after him so ably to all the other syce’s and track riders contributing to the success. Sure to be crowned 2017 Champion Stayer, Gilt Complex is now a dual Group 1 winner and has amassed over 1.5 million for owners Graham Mackie and Trish Dunell. Still lightly raced, the 6 year old will prove to be a major force in the feature races again next season.

 

 

 

 

HARVEY GOES BANG!

Pacifiers and a slight change in training routine, saw three year old gelding Harveywallbanger notch up his first victory in Singapore at just his second start, in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden over 1200m on Friday November 3rd. Whilst the stable has always had a good opinion of the $45,000 purchase by Cliff at the 2016 Gold Coast National Yearling Sale, his highly strung nature had not made his early days in Singapore simple.

With a tendency to rush things and not settle in his work, Cliff quickly gave Harveywallbanger a short let after an initial 6 weeks of work in Singapore. This, as well as gelding him, slowly saw an improvement in his attitude and temperament, however he still had a lot to learn. His debut run showed that he would improve with race experience and with a well spaced out second assignment,  Friday saw a very fit, well behaved Harveywallbanger who showcased his talent on race night.

Apprentice I Amirul, sporting partner Nick Johnston’s all Apricot colours, began brilliantly out of the gates, and under strict instruction quickly got The Wallbanger to settle nicely underneath him. Traveling sweetly to the turn Amirul pushed the go button at the top of the straight and a winning break was quickly established. Whilst the winning margin was reduced to a length on the line, the race was never in doubt from the top of the straight.

Harveywallbanger stretches out to the line to win by a length.

Harveywallbanger’s owners were spread far and wide throughout the globe on Friday night. Majority shareholder Greg Perry was home in Sydney celebrating his son’s last year 12 exam completed earlier in the day and Harveywallbanger provided a nice end to the evening. Nick Johnston a racing tragic, was in Delmar for the Breeders Cup, whilst both Cliff and Shane Tatham were also in Australia.

Stand still Harvey, It’s photo time!

 

Perhaps the son of Casino Prince may develop a bit of a cult following with owners and happy punters sure to raise a Harveywallbanger or two at pubs and clubs after each success! With a fair bit of maturing both physically and mentally to come, and further honing of his racing craft, the fans of Harveywallbanger should look forward to quite a few more drinks.

Harveywallbangers all round earlier in the year!

 

 

Willaroon: an integral part

With the majority of horses purchased to race in Singapore by the stable either being yearlings or 2 year old ready to race horses, there is always going to be an amount of time needed to have horses both educated and mature enough prior to their importation into Singapore. Being based in Singapore it’s critical to have the right people looking after our clients valuable racing prospects, both in terms of their expertise and trust.

Since setting up in Singapore nearly 10 years ago Cliff Brown Racing has been very fortunate to be able to agist our Australian purchases at Willaroon Thoroughbred Agistment in Victoria. Willaroon Thoroughbred Agistment is located about an hour from Melbourne along the Hume Highway, and is owned and operated by Sally Watkins. Sally has been a friend of Cliff’s for many years and has a very select clientele. Her picturesque property is never over stocked, and her attention to the care and well being of horses under her care is second to none.

Recent Inglis Ready To Race purchases Animal Kingdom/Bellasinga Colt and Your Song/Tusko gelding enjoying the lush paddocks at Willaroon

Individual care expertise and attention set Willaroon apart from most Agistment operations.

Recent Purchase Inglis ready To Race Purchase Lot 76 Uncle Mo/Clementine Colt at Willaroon

The list of horses bound for Singapore that have graced the paddocks of Willaroon and been reared and cared for by Sally and her team include the mighty Zac Spirit, Groenewegen, Zac Influence, Merchant, and Gold Run to name just a few. Current youngsters Don De La Vega, Spiffing’s Bridge, Cracking Tottie, Zac Kasa, Harveywallbanger, Lohnro Gold and Roughead all spent time at Willaroon before being shipped to Singapore

We thank Sally for her continued professionalism and guidance, and fingers crossed the Ready to Race purchases residing there now may include the next Singapore champion.

 

 

 

IS DON……IS GOOD

Barree Stable’s racing colours which have become so recognizable in Singapore through the deeds of 2016 Horse of the Year Debt Collector, and stable mate Could Be Pearls again saluted on Sunday 29th, this time with Don De La Vega in the restricted maiden over 1400m.

The son of Loup de Vega which was purchased by Cliff at the Inglis Classic Yearling sale in February 2016 for $45,000 had only had three previous starts, and showed he had his foot on the till with a close up second to Silent Boss on October 8th. With Barend Vorster committed to another ride, apprentice I Amirul was giving the job of guiding the big gelding on Sunday.

Amirul had Don De La Vega right on the speed early from barrier rise, and after traveling about 400m took over the lead. Given a breather mid race, The Don entered the straight with Basilisk right by his side. The two had a couple of lengths up their sleeve on race favorite Tesoro Privado and settled down to an epic battle up the straight. Don De La Vega did not yield and pulled out all stops to win by a half a length, with a perfectly executed ride by Amirul.

Don De La Vega proves to strong in the Restricted Maiden

Barree Stable Manager Glenn Whittenbury has a soft spot for the Don, as he very much enjoys the attention of his owner when he visits the stable when in Singapore, unlike a certain other horse he owns which is affectionately known as the snake. The Don wouldn’t hurt a fly.  The Snake (Debt Collector) on the other hand would rather bite a finger or an ear off his loyal owner when he’s in his box and to the great amusement of staff, many have witnessed DC’s antics with his owner. Once outside his box however, Debt Collector is much more pleasant and will happily be patted and pose for photographs.

Don De La Vega on the other hand loves attention and gratefully receives the affection of his owner. Now taking his record to a win an a second from just 4 starts and a tick over $57,000 in stakes, I’m sure the Don can look forward to some more kind attention from his happy owner, and maybe an extra mint or two.

FILLY BUSTS TRACK RECORD

Progressive three year old filly Filibuster again displayed her enormous potential with a blistering win in race 7, a class 4 over 1100m. The time of 1.o4.16 seconds demolished the Class 4 record over 1100m, and set a new course record for the 1100m on the poly track. This electric time was even more impressive given rider Manoel Nunes was very kind to her over the last 100m. In fact he didn’t use the persuader at all doing the run.

Sent out a $7 favorite on the strength of her effortless debut victory on October 6th, favorite backers had some worries as the talented yet headstrong filly was again difficult to load in the gates. Again a superlative effort by Assistant Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons along with Starters Damien Kinnemont and John Pepe finally coaxed the big daughter of Ilovethiscity into the gates once Nunes had dismounted.

Drawing barrier 1, it was really just a procession from there, as Filibuster began quite quickly and assumed what may become her customary role of leading the field. Uncle Lucky after 200m tried to assume the leaders role but Nunes was having nothing of it allowing a little rein for the big filly to maintain the lead. Traveling sweetly into the straight, Nunes allowed her to balance up, before hitting the afterburners at the 300m, and Filibuster coasted to line 3 and half lengths clear in the staggering time of 1.04.16, a new track record.

Flying Filibuster breaks the 1100m poly track record on Friday evening.

Raced by Divided House Stable, Filibuster is now 2 from 2 and already pocketed over $75,000. Manager Mark Chadwick watched the race from Perth, and was thrilled with the victory. There would be no doubt that Filibuster has pulled up a lot better than the manager of Divided House on Saturday morning.

GILT EDGED GROUP 1 GLORY

Gilt Complex provided the stable with a back to back victories in the Group 1 Raffles Cup with a commanding victory under the skillful guidance of A’lsisuhairi Kasim on Sunday 22nd. A field of 12 contested the the 1800m Group 1 contest, and while the stable were confident that Gilt Complex would run well, he was friendless with punters starting the race as one of the outsiders.

The step up to 1800m, a sharp barrier trial on Tuesday and the addition of blinkers for the race all combined well for Gilt Complex. Add to that some excellent form references, and a hungry Harry aboard, then perhaps the dividend of $222 for the win were overs.

Allowed to settle just off the cracking speed set by Forever Young, Harry had Gilt Complex stalking the leader and at the 400m quickly went past Forever Young. From there it was a case of who would be the challengers with Countofmontechristo, Elite Excalibur and Lim’s Cruiser all setting out after Gilt Complex. All tried hard but in the end they were no match for Gilt Complex in the last 200m as Kasim rode hard and Gilt Comlplex out stayed his rivals

Gilt Complex had 1 and 3/4 lengths to spare over stable mate Elite Excalibur who was expertly handled by John Powell and enjoyed a return to a firmer track. Debt Collector managed sixth, whilst Laughing Gravy also felt the very firm track to bring home the field. Cliff has a great record in The Raffles Cup. He has now won the race twice, after previous runner up finishes with Clear For Action and Deep Pockets.

 

A jubilant Harry Kasim lands his first Group 1 winner aboard Gilt Complex

New Zealand owners Trish and Graham Mackie have been long time supporters of Singapore racing and their colours are best known through the deeds their champion Spalato. Whilst not on hand to witness another Group 1 success they were delighted to again see their colours salute in a feature Group 1 race in Singapore. Gilt Complex will now go on to contest the Singapore Gold Cup over 2200m.

Happy Connections enjoy the Group 1 Victory

The stable continues to be a force in the feature races in Singapore. Whilst the Raffles Cup was the first Group 1 victory this season (after 5 wins last year), stablemate Elite Excalibur added his second Group 1 runner up in the Raffles Cup to go with his second placing in the Patron’s Bowl earlier in the year. Laughing Gravy ran second in the Group 1 QE 11 Cup and Debt Collector added a Group 1 placing in the Kranji Mile to his enormous CV. The Raffles Cup quinella capped up a good day for the Stable with Tales Of Summer opening his account after a string of excellent performances in race 1.