Ladies first in inaugural Silver Bowl
Cliff Brown-trained mare What's New gives South Australian pin-up girl Raquel Clark first Singapore winner - in a Group 3 race at that
She was the only female rider in the capacity field of 16 in yesterday's Kranji feature race and her mount was the only mare, too.
Furthermore, the fairer sex combination was the least-fancied on the tote, showing a monstrous $398 for a win.
But that did not stop last season's South Australian champion apprentice jockey Raquel Clark and What's New from being victorious in the inaugural running of the $175,000 Group 3 Silver Bowl.
The feature over 1,400m was the new first leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge.
Winning trainer Cliff Brown revealed after the race that What's New would proceed to the second leg - the $400,000 Group 2 Stewards' Cup over 1,600m - on June 30.
The series culminates with the $1 million Group 1 Singapore Derby over 1,800m on July 21.
With most of the top fancies drawn awkwardly wide, including stablemate Mister Yeoh, who started as the $14 favourite, What's New broke beautifully from the favourable inner-most barrier.
Tasmania-born Clark, 25, then settled the Tarnpirr Stable-owned New Zealand-bred mare in a handy fifth spot. Her mount was just about four lengths from the leader Eye Guy, who led by just over a length.
Racing behind Eye Guy and in front of What's New were Mister Yeoh, Circuit Mission and Eagle Eye. Sacred Croix, unbeaten in his last four starts and one of two-time champion trainer Mark Walker's four runners, was next.
Eye Guy turned into the long straight from Mister Yeoh. Circuit Mission went for a split between them but could not get past. Eagle Eye was next a bit wide, one paced. Clark made her move, navigating away from the inside for a clear run.
Eye Guy, under Daniel Moor's urgings, plugged on resolutely. Clark sent What's New after the leader. Jockey Benny Woodworth also got into the picture on Sacred Croix.
Clark drove What's New past Eye Guy with 100m left to run and to her first Kranji victory at her 15th ride since she made her debut of her three-week stint on May 31.
What's New won by a length in 1min 22sec - her fifth success from 15 starts.
Sacred Croix got up to beat Eye Guy by a neck for second.
"You know what? This little horse, she is so mighty and tough," said Clark, the 10th Dux of the South Australian Apprentice Academy to ride in Singapore as part of an agreement between Thoroughbred Racing South Australia and the Singapore Turf Club.
"She jumped really nice, she settled really good and had a beautiful rhythm. Once she got that gap, she had so much power behind her and she let down like a little superstar she is."
It was a training achievement by Brown to race What's New over 1,800m before bringing her back fresh to 1,400m yesterday.
"To be fair, you know, I was a little confident there. She is so genuine and those 1,800m races just sort of got her ready for today," said the Australian.
"I think if I stayed at 1,400m the whole way, she wouldn't be strong, so that's why I took her up to 1,800m and just got her physically fit enough to then freshen her up a touch."
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