Military Attack Cruises in International Cup

Oratorio gelding led a one-two finish for Hong Kong trainer John Moore at Kranji.


Winning jockey Zac Purton's post-race exclamation perfectly summed up a dominant win by Military Attack in the Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sin-I) May 19 at Kranji Racecourse.

The 5-year-old Oratorio gelding was always in touch with the leaders and burst from the pack at the top of the straight, pulling away to an impressive 3 1/4-length victory over stablemate Dan Excel.

Most recently the respective winners of the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) and Champions Mile (HK-I), both Military Attack and Dan Excel are conditioned in Hong Kong by leading trainer John Moore, who enjoyed his first international win.

Geared down in the closing strides, Military Attack finished the 2,000-meter (about 1 1/4 mile) trip in 1:59.58 on turf rated as good to win as the second favorite in the 13-horse field.

"I expected him to go very close, but of course it surprised me that he was able to blow them away like that," Purton said after the victory, the fourth straight for Military Attack and his second in a row in a group I race. In a close race for second, Dan Excel outfinished Australian group I winner Mawingo by a head.

The field included several other prominent international contenders, including Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) runner-up Red Cadeaux and Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-I) winner Hunter's Light.

Seventh in the World Cup in his previous outing, Hunter's Light was perfectly position in midfield early but came up empty in a sixth-place finish.

"He had a fair trip," jockey Silvestre De Sousa said. "He had a lovely position, but he was hanging with me in the straight."

Red Cadeaux, entering off a third in the Tenno Sho (Spring) (Jpn-I), raced wide throughout after a slow start and had no rally in a eighth-place finish under Gerald Mosse, who said the ground was too quick for the distance.

Race favorite Pastorius, recent winner of the Prix Ganay (Fr-I), dropped back to the rear of the field from his wide post 11 draw, but after circling the field at the 1,500-meter mark had too much work to do late and tired to finish 12th.

Moore is a native of Australia who trains Military Attack for Mr. and Mrs. Steven Lo Kit Sing. He has penciled in the W.S. Cox Plate (Aus-I), Australia's premier weight-for-age contest, in October at Moonee Valley, as a possible goal for their runner.

"The Cox Plate would be nice as I would love nothing more than to win a group race in my own country," Moore said.

Military Attack entered off a 1 3/4-length victory over California Memory in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) April 28 at Sha Tin. That victory followed impressive wins in the Premier Plate March 24 and Hong Kong Gold Cup Feb. 24, also at Sha Tin.

Irish-bred Military Attack joined Moore's shedrow last year after racing in England under the name Rave, winning three times at a mile for trainer John Hills. He has seven wins, a second, and a third in 16 starts for Moore and 10 wins overall from 22 lifetime starts.

The Dancing Brave mare Almaaseh is the dam of Military Attack, whose half sister Artisia is the dam of Red Cadeaux.

Sire Oratorio, an 11-year-old son of Danehill, was purchased from Coolmore Stud earlier this year to stand at Avontuur Estate in South Africa, beginning with the 2013 season. He already has nine stakes winners this year, including Biz The Nurse, a four-length winner of the Derby Italiano (Ity-II), also on May 19, at Capannelle Racecourse in Rome.

Jockey Zac Purton talks about his winning ride: