Singapore Racing - Weekend Review - Top Knight Reigns Supreme

Star galloper Top Knight ended a run of outs on Saturday, when saluting narrowly in the Group 1 Singapore Derby.

TOP KNIGHT winning the SINGAPORE DERBY GROUP 1
TOP KNIGHT winning the SINGAPORE DERBY GROUP 1 Picture: Singapore Turf Club

The dominant three-year-old of his generation, Top Knight was surprisingly yet to salute the judge this year, finishing second in five of his six attempts.

His only flop came first up, when he did have excuses behind Passport To Rome.

Away from that he had been rock solid and in his first attempt beyond a mile, he returned a new career peak.

An eye catcher late behind Aramaayo in the lead up (Group 1 Kranji Mile), Top Knight was reunited with Vlad Duric and the son of Zoustar simply did too well.

Ridden stone cold from the wide draw, Top Knight had it all to do coming into the straight, but Duric always appeared confident.

Tracking his stablemate Siam Blue Vanda, Top Knight pulled to the outside and quickly let rip, going straight past race favourite Aramaayo inside the 300m.

Still with work to do, he set out after the leader Elite Incredible, with the latter displaying sharp improvement out to 1800m.

Sticking on strongly on the inside Elite Incredible fought hard the whole way, before just gunned down late by Top Knight.

Although only a narrow margin, if you backed Top Knight, I don't think you were every overly concerned.

He was coming at a rate of knots, whereas Elite Incredible was stopping.

Top Knight recorded 23.55 seconds for his last 400m, close to 5L faster than Elite Incredible.

Stablemate Siam Blue Vanda was the only other horse to break 24 seconds for their last 400m.

Surprisingly Saturday's success was the first for Duric in the feature, while trainer Michael Clements also enjoyed his first victory in the staying event.

"I won my first Group 1 with Alibi in the Patron's Bowl in 2017, and then Top Knight won the Singapore Guineas last year, but this is the Derby, it's great," said Clements.

"Top Knight was exactly where I wanted him to be. He saw them all, but was not too far behind, it was a compact field.

"We always felt he'd be happier with the extra distance. At his last couple of runs, we didn't see him at his best as he clearly wanted more ground."

Rated 107 by Timeform, he is right on the winning average for the last five years.

Top Knight ran 101 when winning the Group 1 Singapore Guineas and has continued to improve with time, I'm sure much to Clements' delight.

Quechua remains the highest rated winner of the Derby, rated 114 when beating War Affair in 2015, Spalato was rated 112 when he destroyed them in 2014.

A figure of 107 leaves him as one of the highest rated horses in Singapore and should take some beating in wherever Clements elects to go with him.


Racing and Sports



Kranji

Saturday, 05th September 2020

12
17:30
(local)

SINGAPORE DERBY GROUP 1 (SGG1)

Age: 4 and 5 yo Type: OPEN
SGD $500,000
1800m TURF YIELDING
12
17:30
(local)
SGD $500,000
1800m YIELDING

SINGAPORE DERBY GROUP 1 (SGG1)

Age: 4 and 5 yo Type: OPEN
FP Silk Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
Jockey
Trainer
SP
WT
1st 2. TOP KNIGHT (AUS) 5yo G
ZOUSTAR (AUS) - NERO CAVALLO (AUS)
VLAD DURIC
MICHAEL CLEMENTS
$2.90
57.0kg
FALCON RACING NO 7 STABLE

Sales Information

2nd 12. ELITE INCREDIBLE (ARG) 5yo H
VALID STRIPES (ARG) - MY CHANCE (ARG)
JOSEPH SEE
CLIFFORD BROWN
$110.30
57.0kg
ELITE PERFORMANCE STABLE
3rd 5. MINISTER (USA) 4yo G
STREET SENSE (USA) - LIGHT AND VARIABLE (USA)
KASIM A'ISISUHAIRI
LEE FREEDMAN
$9.10
57.0kg
KING POWER STABLE

Sales Information

4th 3. SIAM BLUE VANDA (NZ) 5yo G
ECHOES OF HEAVEN (AUS) - I'M A WAG (IRE)
LOUIS-PHILIPPE BEUZELIN
MICHAEL CLEMENTS
$9.30
57.0kg

Sales Information

5th 1. ARAMAAYO (AUS) 5yo G
POET'S VOICE (GB) - PERUVIAN (GB)
R MAIA
SHANE DONALD BAERTSCHIGER
$2.50
57.0kg
6th 10. OCEAN CROSSING (AUS) 5yo G
ALL TOO HARD (AUS) - OCEAN BRIDGE (AUS)
JUAN PAUL VAN DER MERWE
LEE FREEDMAN
$40.10
57.0kg

Sales Information

7th 14. MO ALMIGHTY (AUS) 5yo G
UNCLE MO (USA) - CLEMENTINE (AUS)
SAIFUDIN ISMAIL
J TAN
$129.80
57.0kg

Sales Information

8th 7. CHURCHILL (AUS) 5yo G
SMART MISSILE (AUS) - DEARNESS (AUS)
BENNY WOODWORTH
RICARDO LE GRANGE
$35.20
57.0kg
9th 6. PAX ANIMI (AUS) 5yo G
REBEL RAIDER (AUS) - GEOLOGY (NZ)
SIMON KOK
CLIFFORD BROWN
$29.60
57.0kg
10th 4. PENNYWISE (ARG) 5yo G
PURE PRIZE (USA) - LOURA GELADA (ARG)
CC WONG
RICARDO LE GRANGE
$29.10
57.0kg
11th 8. MAT SMART (AUS) 5yo G
GINGERBREAD MAN (AUS) - LA SIRENUSE (AUS)
I AZHAR
STEVEN BURRIDGE
$77.80
57.0kg

Sales Information

12th 9. ON LINE (NZ) 5yo G
O'REILLY (NZ) - FROCKSTAR (NZ)
MATTHEW KELLADY
MICHAEL CLEMENTS
$21.40
57.0kg

Sales Information

13th 13. ADIPSON (AUS) 5yo G
SO YOU THINK (NZ) - REGLISSE (NZ)
RYAN MUNGER
STEVEN BURRIDGE
$110.30
57.0kg

Sales Information

14th 11. QUADCOPTER (AUS) 5yo G
ZOUSTAR (AUS) - PINOVA (AUS)
MARC LERNER
HIDEYUKI TAKAOKA
$46.20
57.0kg

Sales Information

Simon Dinopoulos

Senior Handicapper

Sydney-born Simon Dinopoulos joined Racing and Sports' as a form analyst in 2012.

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