Gold Cup duo in smashing form on Friday

The Cliff Brown-Michael Rodd pairing was right on song on Friday night after they combined for a magnificent treble.

Golden Sword (see other report) began the rampage in Race 6 before the Australian duo swept the last two races on the programme with Draco ($20) and $16 favourite Baffert.

Of the two wins, Draco’s, who just like Golden Sword, was claiming a Class 3 race over 1200m on Polytrack, probably had a bigger wow factor, just from the way he came from the ruck to career away to a soft 1 ¾-length win from odds-on favourite Nowyousee (Nooresh Juglall).

Draco (Michael Rodd) blows his rivals late in the piece, picture Singapore Turf Club

Despite giving three and a half kilos to Nowyousee, the Falkirk four-year-old showed he clearly had the superior turn of speed when he swept past Ricardo Le Grange’s ward at the 200m. Longhu (Barend Vorster) finished third another neck away. The winning time was 1min 11.75secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.

With Baffert, a former one-time winner in Geelong when prepared by Caulfield trainer Mick Price, Rodd waited until the last one and a half furlong of the $60,000 Class 4 Premier race over 1100m to turn on the afterburners. Preferred (Olivier Placais) gobbled up the ground late but he could only settle for second place two and one quarter lengths away.

Sure Win (Wong Chin Chuen) ran third another one and a quarter lengths away. The winning time was 1min 6.01 seconds for the 1100m on the Polytrack.

Brown will certainly be chuffed with the way the homefires have been kept burning while he was away.

“We are rapt Draco and Golden Sword were split by the handicapper in two different Class 3 races,” said Fitzsimmons.

“Michael can ride both and it’s great that two good horses of ours don’t have to run against each other.

“Draco keeps getting better and stronger, and I think the blinkers help him, too.

“He’s a horse who needs luck as he gets back, but tonight he put it away quickly. He has a nice turn of foot.”

Rodd, who has claimed the lead from temporary leader and arch-rival Vlad Duric (he won three earlier) after Baffert took his score to four wins in the last, said that Draco gives the impression he can go over more ground but he will leave it to Brown to decide.

“The race was set up perfectly for him. We were the only backmarker in the race,” said the Dester Singapore Gold Cup-winning jockey (Gilt Complex for Brown last November).

“They were quite keen upfront and he just got back. Things panned out well for us.

“I could see Katagas in front and upfront the others were still far ahead, but when they compounded, my horse just flew in.

“He laid in but I got stuck into him just to get him going. He’s a lot quieter now, and if Cliff decides he can go over longer, it will be his choice.”

With that fourth win from 12 outings that also yielded four seconds, Draco has seen his bank swell past the $210,000 mark for the Olympian Stable.