The timing could not have been better with the Lizard Island six-year-old coming with a sneaky run along the rails in the $70,000 Better Life 2013 Stakes Kranji Stakes C race over 1800m, even if trainer Michael Clements must have had mixed feelings at the furlong pole with one of his own, a feisty Elite Incredible (Hakim Kamaruddin) standing in the way of that much-needed victory.
But under Oscar Chavez's vigorous riding, Trumpy ($36) knuckled down to the task to touch his stablemate off by a head.
Favourite Real Efecto (Danny Beasley) was too far back, but still motored home for third place another neck away, just nosing Wind Trail (Marc Lerner) out of a podium finish. The winning time was 1min 48.78secs for the 1800m on the Long Course.
Clements was certainly welcoming the 1-2 as the perfect script given Elite Incredible is also nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) on November 14, but on 77 points, he sat in 14th place in the order of entry and is almost assured of a berth while Trumpy sat just outside the borderline on 73 points (18th).
On paper, the Singapore champion trainer can now count on both in the blue riband, not to mention he already had his five leading hopes (later contesting the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup over 1800m) of Top Knight, Big Hearted, Ocean Crossing, So Hi Class and Prosperous Return holding a Gold Cup seat at this stage.
Whether Trumpy will be one of his trump cards in the time-honoured race remains to be seen, but Clements was just happy to savour the moment he has finally got a local win out of the Argentinian seven-time winner formerly prepared by Cliff Brown.
"I don't know much about his history in Argentina, but I know he won all his seven races on dirt, and a lot of them over a distance," said Clements.
"He ran a good race (fourth) in the Gold Cup when Cliff had him last year. He needed to win this race today to pick up more points towards this year's Gold Cup.
"If he gets six points, he will get into the high 70s, and is likely to get a run. Elite Incredible also ran well, and he's more or less guaranteed of a run as he has a higher rating (77)."
Clements said Trumpy's run panned out beautifully with Chavez riding the rails throughout.
"He's been running fair races all this time. He hasn't been finishing too far off," he said.
"He has been improving slowly and surely, and has come right at the right time.
"The ride just behind the leaders and getting the rails run definitely helped. It was a two-horse fight from the 200m, and Trumpy got there at the right time.
"The step-up to 1800m also helped as he's been looking for more ground."
That account-opener has now taken Trumpy's prizemoney past the $95,000 mark for the Elvin Racing Stable, with the bulk of his previous earnings made from that fourth place in last year's Singapore Gold Cup.