Gilt Complex edges Singapore Gold Cup at Kranji to secure historic double
There was a thrilling finish to Sunday’s $1.35 million Dester Singapore Gold Cup as Gilt Complex claimed a sensational win at the Singapore Turf Club at Kranji.
Having already claimed an unlikely victory in last month’s Group 1 Raffles Cup, the six-year-old New Zealand-bred galloper backed it up with another stunning success right at the death in what was one of the most breathtaking finishes seen in the Singapore Gold Cup, the island republic’s blue riband event of the turf.
Gilt Complex passed the finish line first by a nose from defending Gold Cup champion Bahana, with Elite Excalibur taking third place just a short head’s distance further back.
In winning the gruelling 2,200 metre contest, the Cliff Brown-trained second-favourite not only took home a bonus of $50,000 but also became only the third horse to achieve the Raffles Cup-Gold Cup double after Zirna (2003) and Smart Bet (2002).
After coming close a few times, Brown was savouring his first victory in the race, which will be shortened to 2000 metres from next year onwards.
At one stage, Gilt Complex appeared to be out of the reckoning for the prestigious double but he found a second wind that took him zooming to the last-gasp victory.
Jockey Michael Rodd parked his mount sixth as they raced past the half-way mark which saw the leader Order Of The Sun slightly ahead of dual-Group winner Forever Young. Bahana was two lengths away in third, followed stablemate and last year’s fourth place-getter Newlands, who clipped the heels of Bahana at the 700 metre mark, and dropped right back to the rear.
The two leaders back-pedalled shortly after straightening which gave Bahana and Elite Excalibur opportunity to pounce to the front. Majestic Moments, sixth last year, moved up and crossed Gilt Complex but could not get past Bahana and Elite Excalibur, who fought like gladiators in the arena of death.
With 150 metres left to run, Gilt Complex ducked to the inside and started to rev up, closing in with every stride. In the exciting dash to the line which could have gone the way of several horses, Gilt Complex put his nose down where it mattered most to deny Bahana a rare triple Gold Cup success.
Also on Sunday, three-year-old filly Mozu Katchan won the 42nd running of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kyoto, claiming a maiden Group 1 win for her trainer Ippo Sameshima in the process.
Ridden by jockey Mirco Demuro, Mozu Katchan was never too far away on the inside and closed all the way up the straight, edging past Crocosmia in the final strides to win by a neck and land the winner’s share of the £1.34 million prize fund.