Despacito made a one act affair of the final race on Sunday 19th by taking out the class 4 over 1200m. The stable was very confident given his excellent lead up work, and the fact that he was in a most suitable race. Whilst not having won for a while Despacito had been mixing his form, but also given his racing pattern had not had the best of luck in quite a few of his recent races.

Ridden by Michael Rodd, Despacito settled back in his customary position at the rear of the field. Rounding the bend Rodd had the son of Falkirk traveling sweetly as he circled the field and it was obvious from the top of the straight that Despacito had them covered. Despacito won by a length on the line to the delight of favorite backers who obviously had done their form.

Michael Rodd and Despacito easily win the last race on the programme, the Class 4 over 1200m.

A horse blessed with plenty of ability, Despacito who originally raced as Draco under the Olympian Stable banner has taken his record to 5 wins, 5 seconds from 24 starts and stake money of $267,000 in his Singapore racing career.

On hand at the track to enjoy the victory was long time stable client and friend Peter Lee who enjoyed the win with a number of friends. Among the horses Peter has raced with the stable was Laughing Gravy who won the the Group 1 Queen Elizebeth 11 Cup in 2016 and ran second in the same race the following year.

Winning Owner Peter Lee (second from left) with Despacito after winning the last race on Sunday 19th

Despacito made it a double for the weekend, as the highly promising 4 year old Gold Strike won the last on Friday night. Drawing badly, a well devised and executed plan had Michael Rodd drop Gold Strike back early in the race and and have the last crack at them in the straight. Making up some 12 lengths on the long course, the Gold Stable owned son of Ifraaj steamed home over the top of the well fancied Trapio to notch  his 4th win from only 10 starts.

Michael Rodd steers Gold Strike to a most impressive win in the Class 4 1400m on Friday 17th May.

Gold Dust Weekend

The weekends racing brought up an nice double with two very consistent horses notching up wins. Both 4 year old’s Lonhro Gold and Miss Dusty are among the most consistent runners in the stable.

Race 8 on Friday evening saw Apprentice N Zyrul re-untied with Lohnro Gold after winning on him in December 2018. Jumping from the awkward barrier of 12, Zyrul had Lohnro Gold quickly out of the gates, and taking up his customary role of leader. A breather mid race saw the son of Denman straighten and then kick hard to defy all comers and win by the comfortable margin of nearly a length on the line in the class 4 race over 1000m

Racing in the famous colours of Yong Nam Seng’s Gold Stable, Lohnro Gold has had 24 starts 4 wins, 4 seconds and 3 thirds for $214,000 in prize money. A great return on his $40,000 purchase price at the 2017 Sydney Inglis Ready To race sale.

Apprentice N Zyrul wins his second race aboard Lohnro Gold on Friday 10th May

Sunday the 12th of May saw the stable saddle 7 runners. With 2 seconds and 2 thirds in earlier races Miss Dusty lined up in Race 9 and was the final runner for the day. Sent out the $20 favorite, Miss Dusty had to overcome a wide draw and a field of good depth.

A gun ride from Michael Rodd saw the grey mare beautifully positioned after 200m cruising in 4th place. Given plenty of room at the top of the straight Miss Dusty soon began to challenge the leaders and bounded away to the winning post to score by 1 ¼ lengths from Kiss Your Song with Kolombia running into third. The winning time was 1min 4.9secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.

Miss Dusty wins her 4th race from jut 10 starts in the Class 3 over 1100m.

Bred and owned by Greg Parry, Miss Dusty racing in the famous Brown Tarnpirr Colours has taken her record to 10 starts for 4 wins and ran second 3 times and taken her prize money to a tick over $200,000. Miss Dusty’s dam Asciano Miss has proved a great performer in Singapore with all three of her progeny multiple winners in Singapore. Golden Sword (by Swiss Ace) has won 5 races and $262,000 and Nova Swiss (also by Swiss Ace) has won 6 races and $369,000.


G3 Moonbeam Vase for Bobby, 500 Singapore winners for Cliff

One of the few pieces of Silverware that has eluded the stable, the Group 3 Moonbeam Vase (1600m), was won by Elite Excalibur on Sunday May 5th, and in doing so also notched up Cliff’s 500th winner in Singapore, since relocating from his Flemington base in 2008. Elite Excalibur or “Bobby” as he is affectionately named sent a stark reminder he was still a major force to be reckoned with in Singapore’s upcoming feature races with a brilliant turn of foot to win his second feature race in Singapore.

With a brilliant first up record and great 1600m form the stable was quietly confident Elite Excalibur would run a huge race in the Moonbeam Vase. The Moonbeam Vase was targeted long ago as Elite Excalibur’s comeback race and an ideal stepping stone to another tilt at the Kranji Mile on May 25th.

With some minor issues post the Singapore Gold Cup having been rectified, racegoers witnessed yet another display of Cliff’s training talents with “Bobby” first up for 6 months, produced a devastating burst over the final 300m, to claim yet another feature race for Cliff Brown Racing.

With Ben Thompson on board, Elite Excalibur was allowed to find his feet early in the race, settling a little worse than mid field. Eye Guy took up the running and kicked clear at the top of the straight. With an upset in the air with King Louis finding trouble, Preditor having too much ground to make up and Mikki Joy feeling the pinch at the 200m, it was left to Elite Excalibur, who was weaving his way through the traffic, to issue the challenge to Eye Guy.

Pinning his ears back, Bobby kicked hard on the inside of Eye Guy and inside the last 100m he gained the upperhand to win by half-a-length. Blizzard (Daniel Moor) ran on for third place another length away. The race time of 1.33.62 was only 0.34 second outside the course record established by Magneto in 2014.

A thrilled Ben Thompson drives “Bobby” to Victory.

The former Coolmore-owned and Gai Waterhouse-trained three-time Sydney winner (when known as River Wild) was purchased privately for Elite Performance Stable, and has been close up in many Singapore feature races, notably beaten a head in the 2017 Patrons Bowl and Singapore Gold Cup.The Moonbeam Vase win was very very sweet for all involved.

Winning Connections enjoy the Moonbeam Vase Trophy presentation.

Elite Excalibur returned to scale to jubilant scenes as the throng of people connected with Elite Performance Stable swarmed around him, eager to get in the winning photo. Jockey Ben Thompson secured his second feature win in Singapore, and was delighted to have his parents on track to witness his Moonbeam Triumph.

With that fourth win, Elite Excalibur has now amassed in excess of $780,000 in stakes earnings for the Elite Performance Stable. He will join stable star Debt Collector in the Kranji Mile on May 25th, when some highly credentialed imports will take on the best in Singapore.

Debt Collector delivers first Chairman’s Trophy

One of the few feature races not on Cliff’s Singapore CV was delivered by stable star Debt Collector in The Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy over 1600m on Sunday the 7th of April. Without doubt the dominant force in Singapore racing’s feature events over the last 5 years, the headline act of course is the magnificent Debt Collector who collected his 12th win and 8th Group race (five Group 1’s) with his trademark narrow win in the Chairman’s Trophy.

Whilst other stable’s may boast one headline horse, Cliff’s recent feature race haul has included numerous horses over a range of distances, again showcasing Cliff’s talents as a trainer over sprint and classic distances. Elite Excalibur, Mister Yeoh, Gilt Complex, Laughing Gravy, Zac Spirit and a host of Group and feature race placings have kept the stable at the forefront of Singapore Racing’s elite races.

The Chairman’s Trophy was a carbon copy of most of Debt Collector’s races, with Regular partner Michael Rodd allowing him to settle in last place after barrier rise. Tacking on to the field as the home turn approached, Rodd eased DC to the outside of the field. With his customary electric turn of foot, Rodd and DC had quickly put paid to the whole field in 250m, and it seemed that this time it would be a stress free comfortable victory.

Alas, Countofmontechristo had got a split near the rails, and with another master big race ride from G Boss surged and actually headed DC with about 100m to go. With the race in his keeping , or so DC thought, his frustrating habit of switching off thinking his job was done, kicked in. With Rodd urging him, finally DC caught sight of the horse on his inside and his tremendous will kicked in again. It’s not the first time DC has not seen a competitor in a race, but part of his armory is his will to win and enormous heart. He had a neck to spare on the line, and made it 4 wins from 5 starts since his holiday in Australia in 2018.

DC and Rodd surge again to take the Chairman’s Trophy

“There is no other horse who makes me feel so many emotions. He makes me happy, but he can make me so angry as well,” said jockey Michael Rodd,who has now been aboard at 11 of Debt Collector’s 12 wins. Michael is an enormous part of team Brown, and along with B trainer Tim Fitzsimmons, track rider Sabri, and of course DC’s syce Boy and all the staff,  it is enormously satisfying to see their hard work rewarded with Debt Collector’s race track performance.

Barree Stable Managing owner Glenn Whittenbury again made the trip from Australia to watch his pride and joy DC compete in the Chairman’s Trophy. Having raced horses for 30 years, Glenn is only to aware of the ups and downs of the racing industry. Some four years ago (August 2015), both Glenn and his son Bryce (the other partner in Barree Stable) witnessed their first winner live in Singapore when North Atlantic Ice won a class 4.

That win of North Atlantic Ice not only provided enormous excitement, it was celebrated with the gusto of a Group race win. Little did we all know that the first combined Barree and Cliff Brown Racing purchase, a two year old by Thorn Park out of the mare Prompt Payment, having his first trial in Singapore one month later, would start an unforgettable ride for Barree Stable and all at Cliff Brown Racing. Sadly, Glenn’s father Alan is no longer with us to share this on-going ride with DC, but Glenn and Bryce have made great friendships in Singapore, and their visits are eagerly anticipated as much as Debt Collector’s attempts to add his extraordinary race record. Again Glenn celebrated with his Singapore friends on Sunday evening.

Celebrating with Friends. Glenn put up a DC like performance eating a whole plate of Sushi meant for 4 people.

With top liners in good form, some well performed new additions to the stable yet to make their Singapore debut’s, a crop of lightly raced 3 year old’s and nearly a dozen un raced two year old’s in their early stages of preparations in Singapore, the stable can look forward with great optimism.

It would be hard to disagree with Cliff’s assessment that Debt Collector is the best horse to race in Singapore since Rocket Man.  12 wins from 23 starts, five at Group 1 level, and 8 Group wins in total. His record at weight for age is outstanding, and it’s weight for age racing that is the true measure of a horses ability, a fact that may have been overlooked by some who voted in the season 2018 racing awards.

Hardcore Blitzes over the mile!

All Too Hard gelding Hardcore opened his Singapore account with a resounding 4 and half length win in the Restricted Maiden over 1600m on Sunday 29th March, his 4th race start. Given plenty of time to mature, Hardcore has shown steady improvement in his time in Singapore, with only one glitch in his upward signs of improvement.

The improving three year old gelding was sent out as favorite at his previous start over 1400m, and with the addition of blinkers it was decided to ride him close to the pace. This didn’t work as he worked to hard early and faded in the last 200m. The blinkers were taken off for the 1600m event, and Jockey Michael Rodd was instructed to ride him more quietly.

Owners Julien and Nicole Reidy were on course to watch Hardcore win, while Scott Bryce watched from China and Nic Conidi watched in Australia

Settling mid field Hardcore traveled nicely until the straight where Rodd asked him for his effort. He quickly rounded up the leaders and was left in front when the leader hung out badly. Any thoughts of the leader being unlucky were quickly dispelled as Hardcore gapped the rest of the field, and actually was eased down on the line to win in great style.

Hardcore is owned by people scattered far and wide with Australian Nic Conidi and a group headed by stable client Scott Bryce. Hardcore races in Scott’s colours which have also been prominent this year with Copacabana carrying them to victory.

With primarily polytrack racing in April, Hardcore will next be seen in early May, and on the strength of his maiden win, it shouldn’t be take long to chalk up win number 2.


Incredible DC does it again

Debt Collector’s first run for season 2019, again had racing scribes searching for superlatives, as racegoers witnessed another victory that had to be seen to be believed. The Class 1 over 1400m attracted the best horses in Singapore, and was worthy of a Group 1 event. Add to this the fact That DC had to concede weight to all other horses in the race, made his first up win all the more meritorious.

Michael Rodd, had DC settled back to his customary rearward spot after jumping,  and began to make his move at the 700m circling the field. Upfront, race-leader Forever Young started to yield at the 400m, and Elite Invincible was the first one to pounce, with Countofmontecristo and the Lee Freedman pair of Blizzard and Circuit Land in close attendance.

At the 200m, with six to seven horses spread across the track within a couple of lengths of each other, it was the pair of Countofmontecristo and Debt Collector who took command and fought out a magnificent finale to the race, with the fact DC was nearly on the outside fence adding to the theatre.

In  the end a  neck separated Debt Collector ($22) from Countofmontecristo. Debt Collector covered the last 400m in the sizzling time of 21.97. 2018 Singapore horse of the year Elite Invincible was also left in DC’s wake.

DC and Michael Rodd steam down the outside fence to land an incredible victory.

Cliff’s quotes post race probably summed up the race and the thoughts of all involved. “This horse means the world to me. He is a dream to train. He’s just remarkable. He’s come back bigger and stronger and he did it with 59kgs on his back first-up. There were some very good horses like Countofmontecristo, Elite Invincible, Blizzard he had to give weight today, but he still came through.” B Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons, his syce “boy”, Michael Rodd, track rider Sabri and all the other staff do an incredible job in preparing Debt Collector to race, and are the un-sung heroes behind the euphoric scenes that greeted Debt Collectors win on Sunday.

Owner Glenn Whittenbury again made the trip to Australia to watch his favorite horse. Glenn has made many friends in Singapore and those that have shared the DC journey with Glenn again were on hand to watch the famous victory. Paul Robbins, Nick Johnston and Dennis Cornwell all made their way to the winners circle after DC again wrote another great chapter to what has been a remarkable ride so far.

Barree Stable Manager Glenn Whittenbury is joined by friends after the Class 1 1400m.

Debt Collector’s outstanding record now stands at 11 wins, two seconds and two thirds from 22 starts for stakes earnings in excess of $2.8 million for the Barree Stable of Mr Glenn Whittenbury. DC now has the same number of wins as retired stable star Zac Spirit, and will look to surpass him in the coming months.


Highly promising four-year-old Zac Kasa began his 2019 campaign in the $100,000 Class 1 race over 1200m on Sunday 17th. Sent out as favorite ($12), Zac faced a good field of gallopers with Be Bee a last start winner (and 2017 champion two year old), expected to be the testing material.

Purchased by Cliff as a yearling at the Sydney Easter Yearling sale for long time owners Dr Andy Wong and Genni Wong (Zac Stable), the handsome grey son of Reset, came with a glowing endorsement by long time stable horse breaker and pre-trainer Brett Cavanough.

Best known for his 2018 Lion City Cup runner-up (to two-time Singapore champion sprinter Lim’s Cruiser), Zac was also second in the time honoured Group 2 $500,000 EW Barker Trophy in November 2018. So there was a great deal of expectation surrounding the son of Reset’s return to racing.

Carrying only 51kg, Jockey Daniel Moor was given the ride. With some obvious tactics by rival stables to make Zac work hard early, Moor didn’t panic taking a split between runners before entering the straight, and quickly put a margin of a couple of lengths on his rivals.

With those sent out to take Zac on beginning to feel the pinch, (and who ended up languishing in 6th and 9th place and beaten a long way), it was left to Super Fortune and Be Bee from back in the field to try and cut Zac down in the last 200m. But Moor had ridden a brilliant race, and in the end Zac Kasa prevailed by 1/2 length from the very talented Be Bee.

Zac Kasa and Daniel Moor, simply to good in the Class 1 over 1200m.

With physical and mental maturity now on his side, Zac Kasa has already more than repaid Zac Stable on their investment, and can look forward to a very exciting 2019. Results can’t be achieved without the patience of good owners, and the stable thanks the Wong’s who allow us to train and prepare Zac Kasa.With 4 wins, 4 seconds and a third from just 12 starts, Zac Spirit has already earned at tick over $535,000 for Zac stable.



Girls bring up a double

Cliff’s affinity with the fairer sex was once again on display on Friday 1st with Ararat Lady and What’s New notching excellent victories. Both were well fancied in the market after returning from a short let up with Ararat Lady starting a very short priced favorite.

Ararat Lady, a winner at just her second start justified her short quote with a commanding all the way victory in the class 4 over 1100m on the poly track. Jumping from barrier 5, Michael Rodd took no chances of any traffic jams and soon had the daughter of Battle Paint in cruise mode at the front of the field. On straightening he gave Ararat Lady her head and she slipped the field, with only debutante Grand Koota making and dash at the end, but to no avail.

On hand to enjoy the victory were members of the Jas stable, headed by the well known AJ who was delighted with the victory. Ararat Lady know has two wins from just 3 starts and looks to have a very bright future.

Happy connections enjoy Ararat Lady’s victory.

Talented mare What’s New made it a double for the girls in race 7 with a tough win in the class 3 over 1400m. A model of consistency the diminutive What’s New came from midfield to unleash her customary strong finish. Bred and owned by long time stable client Greg Perry, What’s New has never run a bad race, with her worst result when copping bad interference in the Singapore Guineas. In a post race interview, regular partner Michael Rodd was full of praise for the mare, and a dream to ride.

The 1/2 brother to What’s New by El Roca was purchased by the stable during the week and shares in this yearling colt will be snapped up very quickly. What’s new took her record to 4 wins, 4 seconds and a third from just 11 starts with prize money of over $215,000.


Hopefully the good run can continue on Wednesday with the talented sprinter Miss Dusty and middle distance mare Cracking Tottie engaged.

A Golden Double!!

Friday the 18th was a good evening for Gold Stable winning two races, and being very unlucky in a third. Lohnro Gold and Gold Strike were the winners, with the improving Gold Company going down by only a half length after being held up badly in the straight in race 2.

The most consistent Lonhro Gold caused a boil over in race 6 the Class 3 over 1000m. Carrying only 52.5kg and with light weight jockey Barend Vorster on board, Lonhro Gold had stiff opposition with the likes of Elite Power and King Of War contesting the race. On jumping Vorster surged Lohnro Gold to his customary racing position, leading the pack and was able to give him a breather before entering the straight. At the the top of the straight Vorster kicked the son of Denman away and soon found himself 3 lengths ahead, and under hard riding he held out the fast finishing Elite Power by half a length.

Lohnro Gold proves to strong in the Class 3 over 1000m.

The win was also special for jockey Barend Vorster who is soon to depart Singapore, to ride for the powerful McEvoy stable in South Australia. Barend has been good friends with Gold Stable and has combined with Cliff on many occasions over the past decade to win races for Gold Stable. A $40,000 purchase at the Inglis Ready to race sale, Lohnro Gold had been a terrific money spinner for connections now pocketing over $187,000 in prize money.

The second leg of the Gold Stable double came courtesy of their highly promising UK import Gold Strike. Resuming after a 3 month let up, Gold Strike had to overcome a awkward wide draw in the Class 4 over 1200m. After traveling 3 and 4 wide, he came with a powerful run to overhaul the leaders and win by nearly a length and a half. With three wins from just 8 starts, the son of Ifraaj looks to have a very exciting future in Singapore.

Gold Strike makes it 3 wins from 8 starts when steaming away with the class 4 over 1200m.




Gold Star and Baffert get new season rolling

The second weekend of racing saw the stable saddle two winners, and get the new season off to a good start. On Friday the 11th, Gold Star trained on from an excellent debut 3rd on December 2nd, to capture the $75,000 restricted maiden over 1200m.

Jumping from an awkward barrier of 10, Michael Rodd had Gold Star settled mid field, but still trapped wide without cover. The three-year-old by Redente (x Redoute’s Choice) looked to have his work cut out being three deep for most of the way, but loomed up around the turn.

Gold Star proves to good in the Restricted Maiden over 1200m.

Gold Star, raced as Shadonte in Australia, before being purchased privately by Cliff for long time stable clients Gold Stable. With his first win Gold Star has taken his earnings to a tick under $50,0000, and looks to have a very bright future in Singapore.

The second leg of the weekend double came courtesy of stable favorite Baffert. He lined up in a Krabji Stakes C over 1200m. After three horror barriers at his past three starts, Baffert jumped from barrier 6, again with Michael Rodd in the saddle. Baffert came from a handy spot in 4th at the top of the straight, and won very easily in the end by 2 lengths after being eased down by Rodd.

Baffert proves way to strong in the Class 4 over 1200.

Baffert is raced by Forever Lucky stable, and Premier racing and all have been quite unlucky with Baffert not adding to his only win which was almost a year ago to the day. Taking his earnings past the $120,000, Baffert certainly looks to have more wins in store.