Godolphin's Grandera made amends for a fifth-place finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) last month at Sha Tin with a win in the group I Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji Racecourse on Saturday. The race was the third leg of the 2002 World Series Racing Championship.
Jockey Frankie Dettori kept Grandera off the early pace, set by Western Pride and stablemate Atlantis Prince, then guided his mount around a fallen horse as he moved into contention. Grandera surged to the wire to win the 1 1/4-mile race by two lengths. The Saeed bin Suroor trainee completed the distance in 2:01.3 on the good turf course.
"I know my horse, and today he was in tip-top shape," Dettori said. "He has a great kick and he delivered."
Paolini finished second, with Indigenous third. Olympic Express came home fourth, followed by Hawkeye, Palace Line, Hoeberg, Atlantis Prince, Saddle Up, Western Pride, and Bocelli. Universal Prince clipped heels and fell in the last turn. Both horse and Australian jockey Justin Sheehan walked off the race course. It was not immediately known if they were injured.
Terre a Terre was scratched.
"I had a perfect trip," said Paolini's jockey Andreas Suborics. "I had to cross to the inner from my wide draw. He made ground very easily and in fact came to the lead too soon, but the winner won well in the end, so it made no difference."
The win marks the first group success for Grandera, whose prior stakes win came in the Dubai Arc Trial at Newbury last September. He has previously finished second in three group I events -- the Juddmonte International Stakes, the Coral Eurobet Eclipse Stakes, and the Prix du Jockey Club--French Derby. With the win, Grandera (Grand Lodge--Bordighera, by Alysheba) improved his career mark to three wins from 12 career starts. Grandera was bred in Ireland by J. Stan Cosgrove.
"That was great, he's come on from Hong Kong and will be a very nice international horse for us," said Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager. "I am not sure of his next run but he could well be aimed at the Arlington Million."
Earlier on the card, Caller One finished last of 12 in the Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Sprint while making his turf debut in the group III event. Under Gary Stevens, Caller One faded after the opening two furlongs of the six-furlong race won by North Boy, finishing nearly 21 lengths behind the winner.
"He traveled well for the first two furlongs, then he was struggling. He didn't handle it," Stevens told Racing Post.
North Boy won by 3 1/2 lengths over fellow Australian-bred Superb Effects while completing the distance in course-record time of 1:09.