Speedy Cat proves giant killer in Merlion Trophy
18 March 2013
It was billed as a match race but Speedy Cat proved a giant killer with his victory in the Group 3 $200,000 Merlion Trophy over 1200m on Friday night.
Ridden by Manoel Nunes, Speedy Cat ($80) scored a half-length victory from Emerald Hill (Saifudin Ismail) with Super Easy (Joao Moreira) two-and-three-quarter lengths away in third place.
Speedy Cat stopped the clock at 1min 10.89secs for the 1200m, more than one second outside of Rocket Man’s track record.
The win of Speedy Cat provided trainer Alvin Tan with his first feature race success and also his 100th victory at Kranji after commencing training in 2009.
The race was expected to be a match race between Super Easy – the $10 favourite – and Huka Falls (Danny Beasley) which was punted down late to run the $14 second elect.
Huka Falls led the way over Emerald Hills with Super Easy being ridden along at certain stages to stay in contact with the two leaders.
Speedy Cat, which had been a little slow to jump from the barriers, settled at the tail of the field in the early stages before Nunes gradually saved ground towards the inside before the hometurn.
Huka Falls was quickly collared by Emerald Hills with Super Easy trying to raise a challenge three wide early in the straight. Speedy Cat had made ground to fourth position early in the home running and started to burst through the pack.
Emerald Hills tried valiantly to hold out Speedy Cat who has shown his ability over a longer trip previously and was able to wear down the gallant on-pace performer.
Super Easy, who had had enough on the line, was just able to hold out Huka Falls which rallied again in the straight while Ghozi rattled home from last on the honmeturn to finish fifth.
Tan was over the moon with the success of Speedy Cat and more importantly to notch his 100th win in such a big race.
“This is my first Cup race and to get my 100th win is such a great thrill,” said Tan.
“We spoke about the race and thought there would be a lot of pace. I just said to the jockey to ride him quietly and let him finish off.
“I was really worried about Super Easy. We had lost to him a few times before and I knew what a good horse he is.
“Huka Falls is an up-and-coming horse who was getting weight from us. I was also worried about him.
“I’m so excited at this stage. I don’t really know what to do. I will have a think about where to race next, but I would like to think about the KrisFlyer.
“I will probably give him a bit of a break now but I’m just so excited to get this win.”
Speedy Cat has proven a good money-spinner for connections. Bred by Grand Vue Lodge and Waikato Stud, he is a four-year-old son of Scaredee Cat and is from Lane Cove. Speedy Cat has won seven of his 16 starts with a further seven placings and Friday night’s success took his prizemoney to around the $570,000 mark for the Alwin Stable.
The Group 1 $1 million KrisFlyer International Sprint over 1200m will be run on May 19.
||Singapore TC Merlion Trophy Sgp-3
||Speedy Cat (NZ) 2008
||Alvin Tan (Kranji)
||by Scaredee Cat out of Lane Cove by Magic of
||Grande Vue Lodge Syndicate & Waikato Stud
||2010 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Grande Vue Lodge, P: Mr S R Autridge; $5000