Clements takes over driver's seat, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Clements takes over driver's seat

Celavi puts Stewards' Cup-winning trainer one winner ahead of Mark Walker with score at 21-20

Australian-bred filly Celavi continued to impress and has catapulted her trainer to the top of the Singapore trainers' premiership table.

The daughter of Fighting Sun and In Harmony produced another excellent display of sheer power for her third success from just five starts at Kranji last Friday night.

It was winner No. 21 for recent Stewards' Cup-winning Michael Clements, who is now one winner ahead of three-time champion Mark Walker in the Singapore trainers' premiership chase.

Walker, who had led for most of the season, had drawn a blank for three consecutive race days. His last winner was Sacred Gift on March 13.

Clements had crept up slowly but surely and entered the latest meeting with the same 20-winner tally with Walker, but was ahead on countback for second placings.

With the Zimbabwe-born Singaporean trainer absent, it was assistant trainer Michael White who did the honours at the winner's enclosure, heaping praise on Celavi, even if he cautioned not to get too carried away.

"She is slowly but surely coming to her best. She's showing more maturity, but there is still a long way to go," said White.

"It's probably a blessing in disguise we'll have fewer racing days next month.We'll have more time to look after her.

"But tonight, she showed she could relax better. She will get 1,400m one day."

White was referring to the curtailment of Kranji race meetings from seven to four for next moth in line with the Ministry of Health's tighter guidelines to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last Friday's meeting was conducted without spectators for the first time at the Singapore Racecourse.

As expected, Celavi did not let her backers down with an authoritative win from barrier to box in the last race of nine Polytrack events.

The $7 favourite shot out straight from her middle draw to easily take up her customary leading role in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1,100m under bang-in-form French jockey Louis-Philippe Beuzelin.

It was not quite a carbon-copy of her last-start win in a 1,000m speed scamper in similar company three weeks earlier, when she was caught three deep before she gained the ascendancy.

But, once in front on her lonesome, it was the same display of sheer power.

She broke her rivals' hearts with her high-cruising speed and just keep rolling to the line without giving them a look-in.

First Chief was the one who came the closest to unsettling Celavi in the home straight. The former Group 3 placegetter in Melbourne, when known as Cao Cao, came chipping away at the margin, but Celavi was simply too good.

The winning margin was 21/4 lengths and the winning time 1min 04.67secs, just 0.7sec outside the record established by Autumn Assault last year.