Military Attack’s win in the Singapore International Airlines Cup was one of the dominant performances on the world stage this year and the form behind him continues to confirm it after Better Life’s Singapore Derby win on Sunday.
Hideyuki Takaoka-trained Better Life was the local hopeful given the best chance to win the SIA Cup in May but found the company all too hard and finished a well-beaten seventh.
Dropping back to Singapore’s second-richest race in the Derby, though, the Australian-bred daughter of Smarty Jones got a great ride from English jockey Alan Munro and did it comfortably at odds-on.
On the same Kranji card on Sunday, Mawingo – third to Military Attack at his first appearance for the Michael Freedman yard – also dropped back in class, started odds-on and made short work of a 1,600m race.
The SIA Cup form has proved very worthwhile when tested so far – only last-placed Flax, who ran last again, and second-last Pastorius, who also ran second-last in the Eclipse Stakes since, have failed.
Singapore gallopers Deep Pockets and Ready To Strike were tenth and eleventh to Military Attack but quinellaed their next outing, while Britain’s Mull Of Killough was fifth at Kranji and took that to a subsequent Group Two second at Ascot on Saturday.
The training tracks are now closed in Hong Kong for a couple of weeks, often the only total break from the track that all horses get during the season, but not before John Size was able to give Mirage his first gentle gallop.
Formerly Royal Haunt in Australia, where he looked a potential topliner when unbeaten in three starts for Peter Moody, Mirage is one of three former Contract Racing-owned horses joining the Size stable for next season – the others being sprinters Sichuan Vigour (ex Crystal Web) and Sichuan Charm (ex Melting Pot).
By Nathan Mody