The iRACE Classic has been billed as an exciting race all week, and the ending to the $125,000 Kranji Stakes A race over 1200m could not have lived up to that tag with a worthier winner than Super Fortune on Friday night.
After settling in the perfect berth behind the lead, trainer Alwin Tan’s rising sprinting star put behind the blemish of his last back-to-back seconds with his trademark acceleration inside the last 300m.
While Super Fortune knocked up ever so slightly in the dying stages at his last two outings, only to be worried out of first place late, he was not to be denied this time.
Super Fortune (Olivier Placais) comes out tops in the iRACE Classic on Friday.
The 3-1 chance was a little hemmed in on the fence at the top of the straight, but once he was angled out for an opening across heels, and freed for his run, there was no stopping him.
Tapping deep into his reserve tank, he kept up the same tempo all the way to the line to hold off the fast-finishing Golden Sword (Alan Munro) by one length.
Longshot Grand Cross (Amirul Ismadi) who sat outside leader and favourite Tannhauser (Vlad Duric) for most of the way, put in a gallant effort to stay on for third place another 1 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 9.1secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.
But all honours to Super Fortune, who, according to his regular partner Olivier Placais, was not all that bombproof when he struck the front 200m out, but his class and hard graft saw him prevail in the annual trophy race formerly known as the Racing Guide Classic.
“I thought we came out too early. He stopped a bit in the last 200m, but he does that all the time,” said the French jockey who was at a riding double after scoring earlier aboard outsider Istana.
“To be honest, I was a bit scared as he was running against very good horses tonight. The only horse I knew I had beat was Tannhauser, who I really thought was the horse to beat.
“But he’s always been a good horse to me. I kept his mind on the job and luckily, he just kept going.
“Mr Chua (owner) and Alwin have always thought he could be a Group horse, but we’ll take it step by step. He had only 53.5kgs tonight, but I think the handicapper might not help his cause next time!”
With that fifth win from eight Kranji starts, Super Fortune has now amassed in excess of $300,000 for the Eight Eight One Stable. Known as Man To Love in Sydney, he did win once there with earnings of A$18,325 to his previous connections.
Winning team rejoices after Super Fortune's triumph: (from left) owner Mr Chua Soon Hoe, jockey Olivier Placais, trainer Alwin Tan and his wife Dr Kam Boon Horng and owner Mr Chua Kang Lim.
Tan, who was at his first iRACE Classic win, for one is already aiming the Mossman four-year-old towards such a Group race.
“I will have to look at the calendar and see what race is available, but the Rocket Man Sprint would be a good race for him,” said the Singaporean handler in reference to the Group 3 JBBA Rocket Man Sprint (1200m), the first Leg of the Singapore Sprint Series.
“For now, I think I’ll keep him to sprint races as I still feel that is his forte.
“He ran a better barrier trial last week and as it was a sprint race tonight, I wanted to keep him fresh, just to make sure he had something in reserve for the last 200m.”
Among the beaten brigade, Tannhauser, long touted as a leading Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge contender, was the letdown of the race. He did score twice using such leading tactics, but over his preferred Polytrack, but he had no excuse – he compounded the moment the pressure mounted to finish sixth.
Duric returned with the report to trainer Michael Clements that he felt the son of Tavistock was ridden “upside down” and that they should still press on towards his 4YO target.
Another four-year-old, Draco (Glen Boss), with whom trainer Cliff Brown was bidding to land a fourth iRACE Classic (he won three from the first four editions), did loom as a threat when he steamed home from the ruck but had to settle for fourth place, half-a-length off Grand Cross.
The rest did not play a significant part in the race, even less so the topweight Wimbledon (Noh Senari) who fell foul of his old demons when he started to drift to the widest part of the track from the 800m.
Prone to such waywardness in the past, the Snitzel entire finished on the grandstand side before weakening out of it to run last more than 20 lengths off the winner.