|Superstar Kranji galloper Top Knight added another feature to his growing haul of big race successes when he stormed home to win last night’s Singapore Derby (1800m).|
Last for much of the race, the son of Zoustar producing a stunning burst in the final straight to reel in the leaders and score an impressive win.
The Derby triumph for last season’s Champion Three-Year-Old follows earlier wins in the Singapore Guineas and Singapore 3YO Classic for trainer Michael Clements.
One of a handful of horses bred each year by Elswick Park at Walcha in New South Wales, Top Knight was purchased by Thai based owner Krit Chittaseni for $130,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale.
He was broken in and prepared by Nolen Racing who had pinhooked him for $65,000 from the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sale where he was offered and sold by his breeder.
Top Knight has always shown top class ability for Chittaseni’s Falcon Racing Stable and his outstanding record now sits at eight wins and seven placings from just 17 lifetime starts.
“I won my first Group One with Alibi in the Patron’s Bowl in 2017, and then Top Knight won the Singapore Guineas last year, but this is the Derby, it’s great,” a delighted Michael Clements told the STC’s Mike Lee.
“Top Knight was exactly where I wanted him to be. He saw them all, but was not too far behind, it was a compact field.”
“We always felt he’d be happier with the extra distance. At his last couple of runs, we didn’t see him at his best as he clearly wanted more ground.”
“Vlad also rode a great race. He knows that horse so well, and timed his run to perfection,” Clements added.
Clements confirmed Top Knight would now head for a spell and would be aimed at feature races around a mile later in the year.
The win was one of five on the card for former Melbourne based jockey Vlad Duric – who extended his lead on the Kranji jockey premiership table.
“It’s been a great day – my first Derby and five winners, but I’m above all so rapt for that little horse,” Duric said. “He’s been so fantastic to me in the last couple of seasons.”
“I’m rapt he’s won another Group One race after the Guineas. He’s a super little horse, and I’m so pleased for Michael Clements, for (assistant-trainer) Michael ‘Chopsy’ White and for Krit (Chittaseni), the owner of Falcon Racing Stable.”
“Today, he relaxed beautifully, which he has always done, but the addition of winkers was a masterstroke of genius from Chopsy. He travelled so well from the 1000m to the top of the straight, he hasn’t done that before.”
“My horse is so genuine, he’s such a trier. You put him on anything, and he’ll get through,” Duric added.
Top Knight is a son of Widden Stud’s superstar sire Zoustar – who was also sold twice by Magic Millions – firstly as a National Weanling and then Gold Coast Yearling.
Zoustar’s latest pin-up performer was the final foal produced by the well bred Sydney winner Charnwood Forest mare Nero Cavallo.
A winner of two races, Nero Cavallo is a dam of the grand produced Huntington Girl – dam of four stakes performers including Dynamic Love and Key Bar Nights (dam of Barbed).
The win of Top Knight was another reminder of the quality products sourced from the Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale with the 2020 edition of the catalogue set to go online this week.
Recent graduates of the sale include last start Stradbroke Handicap winner Tyzone, Jenny Graham’s super sprinter Victorem and group winning crowd favourite The Candy Man.
The sale has produced champions across Asia and other features including the Melbourne Cup and JJ Atkins Stakes. Yesterday’s impressive debut NSW winner Star Magnum was purchased at last year’s auction by Darby Racing and looks to have an exciting future.
Winner: Top Knight
Breeding: Zoustar-Nero Cavallo (Charnwood Forest)
Race: Singapore TC Singapore Derby (1800m)
Sold for: $65,000
Sale: 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sale
Vendor: Elswick Park
Buyer: Moorillah Pastoral
Sold for: $130,000
Sale: 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale
Vendor: Nolen Racing
Buyer: Krit Chittaseni
Owner(s): Falcon Racing Stable
Trainer: Michael Clements (Kranji)
PIC – Singapore Turf Club.