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May 20, 2013
words by STEPHEN HOWELL IN SINGAPORE
photography by SINGAPORE TURF CLUB
Anything Brett can do Zac can do better … Australian jockey Zac Purton won the $3 million Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) at Kranji last night less than an hour after fellow Hong Kong-based Aussie Brett Prebble won the other Group 1 race on the card, the KrisFlyer Sprint (1200m).
And like Prebble's win on Lucky Nine, Purton's on Military Attack came on a horse owned and trained in Hong Kong. There was, however, an extra Australian connection, the winner being trained by John Moore, son of a Hall Of Fame jockey, the late George Moore. John has lived in Hong Kong since the early 1970s.
Military Attack, who started the $17 second favourite (for a $5 unit, the Singapore base bet), beat his stablemate Dan Excel ($98) by 3 ¼ lengths, with Mawingo ($135) a head away third. Sydney's Hugh Bowman gave Mawingo a great ride, saving ground all race, after his second place -- three lengths adrift of Lucky Nine in the $S1 million KrisFlyer -- on Victorian Bel Sprinter in the KrisFlyer.
And to add to the Australian connection, Mawingo (imported from Germany and winner of the Group 1 Doomben Cup in Brisbane last year) had been in Singapore only a week, having been transferred by his Australian owners from Anthony Freedman in Victoria to Freedman's Singapore-based brother Michael.
Michael Freedman, by the way, also trains Super Easy, third in the KrisFlyer.
Military Attack gave Moore (63), a prolific Group 1 winner and money-earner in Hong Kong, his first offshore Group 1 win, and he called the Cup win both the "icing on the cake" and the "monkey off his back".
Showing his joint loyalty, he exclaimed, " "Up the Aussies, up the Hong Kongs!"
The race itself went without any hitch for Military Attack, especially when Purton could see that the $15 favourite Pastorius, from Germany, was struggling before the turn. Purton settled his mount on the rails, went around the a couple of tiring horses and found a clear run at the top of the straight to explode away fro an arrogant win in quick time - 1: 59.58.
The jockey said: "The saloon passage just opened up for me and he did the rest. I couldn't believe how far ahead he was and in the end I just let him idle to the line."
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley this spring, Australia's weight-for-age championship, is a possible target next campaign for Military Attack.
(* $S3 million is about $A2.4 million)
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