Elite Excalibur takes Moonbeam Vase to give Brown 500th win
Trainer Cliff Brown has won a long list of feature races, many with 2016 Horse of the Year Debt Collector, but acquired his first Group 3 Moonbeam Vase at Kranji yesterday.
Incidentally, Elite Excalibur's victory in the $175,000 feature over 1,600m was his 500th win in Singapore since relocating from Australia in 2008.
It was also a training feat by the affable trainer for saddling Elite Excalibur to win first-up over a mile after a half-year break.
The Elite Performance Stable-owned Group 3 Committee's Prize winner had not raced since finishing eighth behind Elite Invincible in last November's Group 1 $1.35m Dester Singapore Gold Cup.
Well-ridden by young and talented Australian jockey Ben Thompson, Elite Excalibur moved up from around midfield to sweep past runaway front-runner Eye Guy in the final 50m.
Elite Excalibur ran the trip in a sizzling 1min 33.62sec, just 0.34sec outside Magneto's 2014 record.
It gave Thompson his second Group success. He steered the Brown-trained Mister Yeoh to victory in last November's Group 2 EW Barker Trophy. Mister Yeoh ran a superb third to Bold Thruster in the other Group 3 race yesterday, the $175,000 Rocket Man Sprint over 1,200m.
"We just got beaten in the Sprint, so for this horse to do that over the mile first-up is a great effort," said Brown.
"He's a lovely horse, had a few little issues last time and had his fetlock chip cleaned up.
"It was a perfect race for him. Debt Collector stayed home, he came. It was a wonderful ride as well." - TAN THEAN LOON
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