Dramatic win for Room For Excuse

A perfectly-timed charge saw No Excuse Needed entire Room For Excuse stage a dramatic victory in The AIS Cup on Friday.

Ridden by regular partner Alan Munro, the New Zealand-bred galloper motored home down the straight to pip Exceed Express (Manoel Nunes) when it mattered the most to win the $75,000 Graduation race over 1200m. Orchard Road (Lisa Allpress) was well-beaten by the smart duo in third, another two-and-a-half lengths adrift.

After watching Exceed Express dictate proceedings for the bulk of the six-furlong trip without seeming to tire as the small field of seven horses swung around the final bend, winning trainer Hideyuki Takaoka was a relieved man at the final whistle to see Munro pull the rabbit out of the hat for the Japanese connection.

“I was quite worried,” admitted the former Hokkaido-based conditioner. “At the 300m mark my horse was still very far back and it was on the Short Course so there was not a lot of time to catch the leader.

“But he’s a nice horse who’s been a bit unlucky at his last few runs and Alan rode him very well tonight.”

The English hoop, an excellent judge over middle-distance races, proved he is no slouch in the sprints and has now collected 48 winners this campaign, with the bulk of them for Takaoka.

He has also struck up a long association aboard Room For Excuse. This was the No Excuse Needed four-year-old entire’s 10th start at Kranji and Munro has been in the irons for them all, including a winning debut in September 2013.

The pair have also finished in the placings on another six occasions and though beaten by War Affair in all three legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, was never disgraced against top-class opposition.

“He’s a good horse you know although we were quite lucky today to get there in the end,” said Munro. “I couldn’t go any quicker at the start and thankfully we got the win.”

Trailing by more than six lengths over the final 400m, Room For Excuse ($10) looked dead and buried as Exceed Express looked to have given himself enough breathing space at the head of the queue but Munro had other plans and with each lash of his persuader, began devouring the ground between him and the leader before a last-ditch lunge at the winning post capped a sensational finish. The winning time on the Short Course was 1min 9.80secs.

With two wins from 10 starts, Room For Excuse has now won around $175,000 for the Big Valley Stable.

Source: Jonathan Wong, Singapore Turf Club

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