More international racing tomorrow, this time in Singapore for their headline event of the year, the International Cup, over the championship standard of 2000m weight-for-age.
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Singapore Airlines International Cup
2000m Turf 3yo+ $3,000,000
2040 local time, 2240 Sydney, 1340 London
1 Military Attack (2/1) (Hong Kong): He’s not getting any younger but he’s still got some very nice ability. I thought he was the best horse on the planet when he won this race in freakish style in 2013 and was third to Dan Excel and Smoking Sun last year when just not good enough on the day. Brilliant second to Designs On Rome in the G1 HK Cup in December and since then he’s been a bit disappointing possibly although I thought it was the very odd below par ride from Zac Purton in the G1 HK Gold Cup in March and he wasn’t good enough in the G1 QEII Cup last time when knocking up late. He can win but 2/1 favourite, Saturday morning UK Time, is way too short and Each-Way is the best way to play him.
2 Dan Excel (11/4) (Hong Kong): Another horse that’s not getting any younger but isn’t losing any heart or will to win. Had the perfect run to win this race last year and unfortunately he had a setback when preparing for the Cox Plate in Australia which put him off the scene for a while. He’s been getting better with every run this campaign with a fantastic third to Able Friend in the G1 Champions’ Mile last time, which he ran third in last year en route to winning this and won in 2013 en route to running 2nd in this. Always has a chance and trainer John Moore is looking for a third consecutive win in this race.
3 Meiner Frost (4/1) (Japan): Interesting runner representing Japan, there always respected. Never won at Group level and had some good form at 3YO without winning. He flew late to run 3rd in the G1 Japanese Derby and ran into some nice horses. Nice 4th two starts ago in the G2 Nakayama Kinen behind Nuovo Record, G1 Victoria Mile favourite this weekend, and the 3rd horse was Staphanos who has since run an unlucky 2nd in the G1 QEII Cup. He only won a conditions race last start however so I’m not getting too carried away on him but he has some chance. The clear X Factor of the field.
4 Smoking Sun (12/1) (France): Last year’s runner up, who probably hasn’t run the same since. Disappointing first-up in the G2 Prix d’Harcourt behind Al Kazeem and then never got into the race in the G1 QEII Cup at Sha Tin, in all fairness that was his preparation for this. This race is why he’s come out to Asia and he can win with a bit of luck and should have every possible from Barrier 1 but more of a place chance for sure.
5 Johnny Guitar (40/1) (Singapore): 9th of 12 last year in this race. Consistent type who doesn’t run a bad race too often. Fair 3rd last time in the G3 Admirality Classic but looks outclassed in this and it would be a major shock if he was in the finish.
6 Quechua (33/1) (Singapore): Singapore’s best chance. Brilliant winner of the G1 Singapore Gold Cup in November and has run well in his four runs this year. Just caught late in the G2 QEII Cup at Kranji last start and probably can’t win but should be one of the first local horses to get across the line.
7 Stepitup (33/1) (Singapore): Getting better with each run this time in and got there right on the wire in a thrilling G2 QEII Cup at Kranji last start beating all the local horses in this race home, outside of Cooptado who makes his Singapore debut. Highly doubt he’ll win but won’t disgrace himself.
8 Cooptado (66/1) (Singapore): Makes his Singapore debut for Patrick Shaw after formerly being with Doug Watson in the UAE. LR Entisar winner at Meydan in December and ran well in the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 and G2 Dubai City of Gold during the Dubai World Cup Carnival but was a long last in the G2 Dubai Gold Cup on World Cup night. Better suited over 2000m but can’t win however he should be one of the first local’s home.
9 Free Port Lux (5/1) (France): Very interested to see how this horse goes. Lucky winner over Adelaide in the G2 Prix Hocquart last year and then never got any luck in the French Derby which can be a total forget run before running well in the Grand Prix de Paris when fourth and G2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano when finishing second. He then narrowly won an ok renewal of the G3 Prix du Prince d’Orange before being outclassed in the Arc, which is understandable. A nice fifth to Al Kazeem in the G2 Prix d’Harcourt on reappearance. He brings very nice form to the race and is coming off a strong reappearance and is the one to catch at good odds for Mickael Barzalona, the entertainer, and Freddy Head representing France.
10 Slew Of Lode (100/1) (Singapore): Could only manage eighth in the G2 QEII Cup at Kranji behind the local runners last start but had won his two runs prior but it would be a huge shock.
11 Wild Geese (80/1) (Singapore): Well back in G2 QEII Cup at Kranji, won that in 2014, last start behind the locals. Very much doubt it.
Always an interesting race and always a great race with Hong Kong, France, South Africa, Japan, Australia, Germany and the UK with also Singapore, winning the first ever renewal of the race in 2000 with Ouzo, the winning countries in the 14 runnings of this race. As usual we virtually put a line through the locals, as there not up to International G1 level usually, and only worry about the raiders. Free Port Lux brings very good form into this race and Arc de Triomphe form holds up anywhere in the world and even though he was second last, virtually last with pacemaker tailed off behind him, he wasn’t a disgrace and certainly caught the eye first-up behind Al Kazeem, who has since run a game second to the legendary Cirrus Des Aigles in the G1 Prix Ganay. He missed the Ganay for this and I think is the one to beat. Dan Excel and Military Attack have great records in this race, with both being former winners and they hardly ever run poorly. Meiner Frost is the X Factor.
(9) Free Port Lux - (2) Dan Excel - (1) Military Attack - (3) Meiner Frost - (4) Smoking Sun - (6) Quechua - (7) Stepitup - (8) Cooptado - (5) Johnny Guitar - (11) Wild Geese
Straight Win bet on Free Port Lux at 5/1.