Trainer Cliff Brown has a strong hand in today’s penultimate event at Kranji, the $50,000 Class 4 race over 1,600m on turf.
He will be represented by three smart runners in the 12-horse field, namely topweight Centenary Diamond, back-to-back winner In All His Glory and three-time winner Magnificent Gold.
Although In All His Glory has yet to race over 1,600m, he is the trainer’s ace in the pack. The four-year-old chestnut gelding is oozing with form, having won his last two starts convincingly over 1,400m.
Centenary Diamond scored all his three wins over 1,600m. Two of Magnificent Gold’s successes were over the same distance.
The Tarnpirr Stable-owned In All His Glory opened his account with an easy win in a Restricted Maiden race over 1,400m under three-time Singapore champion Vlad Duric on Sept 5.
He then followed up with another strong on-pace win in a Class 4 race over the same trip at his last start three weeks later when ridden by Azhar Ismail. This led Brown to believe that his charge could handle the extra 200m.
“Yes, he has given every indication that he could run up to the mile,” said the Australian, who is fourth on the premiership with 26 winners.
“From barrier No. 6, he will go forward – either try to lead or run in second behind the leader.
“He worked well, is nice and fit, and has Duric on him again. You never know until they run.”
Brown is a little concerned about Centenary Diamond having to give weight all round in what looks like an open race, which includes last-start winners Ironchamp and Shepherd’s Hymn.
His charge is carrying 58.5kg. But he reckons the horse is well and will be ridden by dual Group 1-winning jockey Ruan Maia.
“He carries a bit of weight now, but he’s good and I have Maia. He has a good rider on him, so he should be well.
“Magnificent Gold was unlucky lately. He is first-up, is nice and bright, and he worked well, too. I cannot fault him.”
Owned by the Gold Stable, Magnificent Gold’s last race was on Aug 23, when he ran on fourth to Meryl. Meryl is also in today’s race.
Magnificent Gold will be ridden for the first time by Juan Paul van der Merwe. He will jump from barrier 8.
Centenary Diamond has drawn Gate 4. The five-year-old bay gelding has been nominated for the third leg of the Singapore Triple Crown Series, the $1 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup over 2,000m on Nov 21, alongside stablemates Gold Strike (runner-up last year), Trumpy, Threeandfourpence and Elite Incredible.
A total of 40 nominees were revealed in the first-round of entries for the Gold Cup, with the Mark Walker-trained Countofmontecristo topping the list on 115 points.
Centenary Diamond is the lowest-rated of Brown’s entries on 66 points. He is 33rd on the list.
His odds of securing a place in the 16-runner field are low, but the world of racing can be full of surprises.
“I think he can get the trip. Well, you never know, right?” said Brown, who captured the Gold Cup with the late Gilt Complex in 2017.