Elise scoots off and it's sayonara Elite Incredible
Trainer Meagher's 6YO's tearaway run proves too much for Brown-trained $7 favourite to catch up
On paper, trainer Cliff Brown's Elite Incredible looked the closest thing to a certainty. Hence, he was my best bet of the day
After all, Elite Incredible's form in his last two starts stood out like soot on snow - a head-short head third in Group 3 and a second in Group 2, and he was only competing in a Class 4 Division 1 event over 1,200m at Kranji on Sunday.
Yes, Elite Incredible did storm home as expected but lost to Elise, who had the perfect plan - a runaway lead that left the raging $7 favourite running out of real estate to catch up.
The margin was half a length. The winning time was a smart 1min 10.03sec for the 1,200m on turf on the Long Course C.
Elise, who was knocking on the door for his eighth win with two second and two thirds in his last four starts, was given a gem of a ride by Benny Woodworth.
The Singapore Gold Cup-winning jockey knows the horse, having ridden the Daniel Meagher-trained six-year-old New Zealand-bred in two of his earlier seven wins.
Helped by the pole position, Woodworth took Elise to the front and set a brisk pace, clocking 24.07sec for the first 400m.
He was more than two lengths clear of Shoot Up High racing to the halfway mark. Elite Incredible was fifth, several lengths further back.
Elise straightened up well clear, followed by a new chaser, Red Symphony. Jockey Michael Rodd made his move on Elite Incredible. He cut down the deficit slowly but surely.
Elise was running on empty in the final 100m but just had enough to last it out from Elite Incredible by half a length.
"That's the way to ride him. There is no other way," said Woodworth.
"I knew I had to get the Elite horse to chase us. He was getting to us but we held him quite comfortably in the end."
Meagher knew he had a winner in hand but somewhat lost faith when Elise was handicapped in the same race as Elite Incredible. But, luckily, Elise was left alone in front and saw it all the way through.
"He's a real consistent horse, a tough gelding. Today was a massive result," said Meagher after the race. "We really thot he would go very good, until we saw that horse in the race. But, through Benny's ability, he rode the horse absolutely perfect.
"Today, we put a crossover noseband on the horse, just to help him breathe a little bit better and he got out and ran along.
"If he doesn't get his own way, if he got something next to him, he'll overdo it. But, today, he didn't and it was a good day."