Singapore International

Military attack

Military Attack. Oratorio’s smart son contests the Gr1 Singapore Airlines International Cup on Sunday

The Gr1 Singapore Airlines International will be run on the same programme on Sunday as the Krisflyer Sprint. With no direct South African representation, plenty of interest will centre on Oratorio’s son, Military Attack, who recently won the Gr1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

The inaugural Singapore Airlines International Cup was held on March 4, 2000, in conjunction with the official opening of the new Singapore Racecourse at Kranji.

With a purse of S$3 million up for grabs, the race, unsurprisingly, attracted some of the best horses from the four corners of the globe. Jim And Tonic from France, Sea Wave from the United Arab Emirates, Oriental Express from Hong Kong and Showboat from the United Kingdom, were some of the globetrotters that flew into Singapore to make up the stellar field for the 2000 metre race.

In a finish that will go down on record as one of the most remarkable milestones in Singapore’s horseracing history, the first edition went to a locally-trained, Ouzo. The New Zealand-bred by Oregon did Singapore proud by producing an astounding turn of foot to deny Jim And Tonic victory by a neck.

Ouzo has however been the only locally-trained horse to capture the SIA Cup. In the subsequent 11 editions (the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak forced the cancellation of the 2003 edition) winners hailing from the four corners of the globe have flashed past the Kranji winning post as the race has grown in stature.

There have been 12 individual winners from eight different countries (Singapore, England, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Australia, Japan, South Africa and France) adding their names to the honour roll. Among them, Grandera (2002) and Epalo (2004) being the only two SIA Cup winners to have gone on to win the World Champion title under the now defunct World Series Racing Championship series.

Last year Chinchon became the second French winner joining the 2009 victor Gloria De Campeao, in scoring easily under Olivier Doleuze. Mike De Kock won the race in 2010 with the ill fated Lizard’s Desire, who was ridden by Kevin Shea.

Gitano Hernando, who now stands in South Africa, and has 21 mares in foal being offered at the Novisara Stud Dispersal Sale on 23 May, won it in 2011 when trained by Herman Brown Jnr.

Another past winner of great interest here will be the 2008 victor and current Klawervlei sire, Jay Peg. The son of Camden Park sired his second stakes winner in his first season of runners when Flash Drive won the Gr3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery on Saturday.

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