(edited Singapore Turf Club reports)
The well-traveled South African star Jay Peg added the group I, $3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup to his record when he blew away his rivals over 2,000 meters in a superlative effort at Kranji May 18.
Trained by Herman Brown, the 5-year-old Jay Peg was the horse to catch in the 16-horse Singapore field following his front-running score in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) seven weeks ago.
Jay Peg won by 1 3/4 lengths over the surprising Singapore representative Recast, with the late-running French invader Balius finishing three-quarters of a length back in third. Cosmo Bulk, winner of the Singapore International Cup in 2006, finished sixth. Jay Peg completed the about 1 1/4-mile distance in 2:00.90 on good going.
“It was fantastic. After winning in Dubai I thought this was a good race to target,” said Brown.
With Anton Marcus at the controls, Jay Peg bounded to the lead soon after leaving the stalls from the middle of the pack. But unlike the Duty Free, he had a rival on the front end this time in Chevron, who soon sped away to a commanding lead in the first three eighths of a mile. Down the backstretch, Jay Peg chased in second with Chevron showing the way while in firm control along the inside.
Chevron began to tire and Jay Peg came to challenge, getting the lead for good less than two furlongs from the finish. He dug in with determination late when challenged by the Australian-bred Recast, ridden by Noel Callow. Balius was moving well over the last furlong but started too late and got up for third by a head over World Delight.
“I was nervous before the race," Brown said. "(Jay Peg) was sweating so much but Anton rode such a great race. He got a good break at the right time and fought his rivals off well."
Marcus, who was also aboard in the Dubai Duty Free, was pinching himself after he had delivered the goods again in another foreign land.
“I always thought they would have to come back to me. I was feeling a little exhausted at the furlong but the horse was still going strongly," he said. “After winning in Dubai, the fairytale continues. I just thank God. It’s unbelievable."
Jay Peg, a Camden Park horse, has now earned more than $6 million for owners Nicholas Shirtliff, Paul Loomes, Etienne Braun and Selwyn Marcus.
Also on the Singapore program, the ageless Australian sprint champion Takeover Target added yet another grade I victory when he won the $1 million KrisFlyer International Sprint in course record time.
The 8-year-old Celtic Swing gelding beat a strong international field at about six furlongs (1,200 meters) in a time of 1:08.8.
Regular rider Jay Ford guided Takeover Target to victory for trainer Joe Janiak, a former taxi driver who paid $1,250 for the winner.