Elite brings River of memories to Boss

After trying to get a leg-up on Elite Excalibur without success when he was in Australia, jockey Glen Boss has finally secured the ride in the $1.35 million Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) next Sunday.

Then known as River Wild when prepared by Sydney’s top lady trainer Gai Waterhouse, the son of Fastnet Rock was a regular fixture in the top Sydney three-year-old races. He came close a few times, but never captured any.

Boss thought highly of the former Coolmore-owned galloper, but the Australian Hall of Fame jockey also remembered him as a colt who was hampered by his racing immaturity.

Elite Excalibur (Michael Rodd) won the second of his two races in Singapore on May 14, picture Singapore Turf Club

“I knew him from Australia. He went really good in the Australian Guineas (1600m),” said Boss.

“Brett Prebble was over from Hong Kong for the ride, he really flogged him and he ran fourth to Palentino.

“Two weeks later, he ran in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) with Brenton Advulla. He took off, he is such a colt, such a thinker, but still ran a good race (fifth to Tarzino).

“I wanted the ride in the Doncaster Handicap (1600m), but she did not run him. He needed cutting.”

Both horse (now gelding) and jockey have since moved to Singapore. Now running in the Elite Performance Stable colours for trainer Cliff Brown, Elite Excalibur was never partnered by Boss at his 12 starts, including five defeats (second was best showing) in Dubai.

A half-brother to Waterhouse and Coolmore’s 2007 Group 1 Futurity Stakes winner Aqua d’Amore, Elite Excalibur scored at his Kranji debut in a BM67 race over 1400m when prepared by Steven Burridge and ridden by Michael Rodd.

Brown’s talented stayer has not escaped the eye of the astute form student that is Boss, especially his last-start flying second to stablemate Gilt Complex in the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1800m) on October 22.

“I’ve seen his runs in Singapore and he’s done very well. He nearly won the Patron’s Bowl (1600m),” said Boss.

“He raced good at his last start (Raffles Cup) and he can only improve. To me, he’s the horse to beat along with the other Cliff horse, Gilt Complex.

“From the way he ran on at his last run over 1800m, I have no doubt he can stay the 2200m.

“Newlands is a very good lightweight chance, he worked very well this morning, and I think he’ll run a very good race. And don’t forget Chairman who can stay.”

Brown reported that his Gold Cup contenders are all looking in shipshape condition ahead of the Singapore Gold Cup, the third and final Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series. He has also entered Laughing Gravy (54kgs) and Magstock (50kgs).

“They’re all fine. They’ve done nothing exciting since their last runs, but they’ve all done everything according to plan,” said the Australian handler.

“Gilt Complex was a bit of a surprise in the Raffles Cup, but I would rather he won on the way through than not, it’s a lucky bonus.

“He’s not so good at the weights now as he’s picked up 12 points after his win, but that’s the way it is.

“They are all really well and will all have their final gallops on Wednesday.”

Book has at this stage booked Michael Rodd on Gilt Complex, Craig Grylls on Laughing Gravy and A’Isisuhairi Kasim on Magstock.