Elite Invincible gets the 'Gold'
Walker and Woodworth bask in Dester Singapore Gold Cup success
More often than not, it has been about the improbable. Indeed, few could have scripted correctly the story which unfolded just after five in the evening when the starter let them go in the 2,000m Dester Singapore Gold Cup.
But first, the race and this was how Elite Invincible went on to lift the Cup.
As with the build up to any big race, the atmosphere at Kranji was pure magic. As always, the racing establishment asserted themselves in the mounting yard where the atmosphere exuded class - expensive tailored suit and dresses, ties - even hats.
Toss in the jockeys in their silks of many colours and the horses - sleek, muscled and beautiful - and you couldn't have asked for more.
When the starter said "go", the crowd in the "cheap seats" rose as one. Betting slips in shirt pockets, each oozed optimism.
For the horses, their moment was at hand.
Elite Invincible, ridden by Benny Woodworth and drawn the extreme outside, was quickly in front and he led them to the first turn.
But no sooner had they hit the back stretch that Woodworth choked him back to third, allowing a rabbit named McGregor to set a brisk pace.
There he stayed and when the field fanned out for the run home, Woodworth prepared to administer the coup de grace.
The finish no more a blur in the distance when Elite Invincible got the lead.
Alas, the unthinkable happened.
Noah From Goa - a fine-looking chestnut - came crashing down. He would later be humanely euthanised. That unfortunate and terribly sad incident aside, the chase for the Dester Singapore Gold Cup had begun.
Ask any jockey and he'll tell you "the last 200m lasts forever". The crowd could see it - even sense it - and they cheered.
McGregor was history. So too Bahana. They had been asked to do too much. Their Cup date in tatters, they had given their all. And, when there was nothing left to give, they just plodded to the line - exhausted.
Not so, Elite Invincible. When challenged by Circuit Land inside the final stretch, he just managed to squeeze out that little extra.
It made the difference as, at the finish, a head separated him from Circuit Land. It is said, weight can stop a train. Perhaps, Circuit land's 57.5kg did him in.
Mr Clint was a gallant third with Majestic Moments taking fourth.
Winning trainer, Mark Walker was thrilled. "We put a lot of work into getting him ready," he said.
"But it still wasn't the best preparation. We needed a bit of luck and we got it. I take my hat off to Benny (Woodworth). He rode a great race."
Splattered with mud, but still grinning, the long-time Malaysian jockey, said: "This is awesome. Most definitely, this is the best win of my career."
He was spot-on. Winning this time-honoured race is, like someone sang, "a chance in a lifetime in a lifetime of chance".
Yesterday, on a rain-sodden track, Elite Invincible lifted the $1.35m Dester Singapore Gold Cup with unparalleled impudence. They said it was improbable. He proved them wrong.