Champion Singapore sprinter Rocket Man showed he was the horse to beat in the upcoming KrisFlyer International with a fourth straight win in the Group One Lion City Cup (1200m) on Sunday evening.
To the cheers of his fans, Rocket Man led from barrier to box in a dominant on speed performance – breaking the hearts of rivals in the process.
Despite being eased up near the line by proven big race rider Felix Coetzee, Rocket Man still had an almost three length margin over Better Be the One.
The best horse ever based in Singapore, Rocket Man has now the feature Group One sprint for the past four years.
And he will now head to the KrisFlyer International Sprint as he attempts to defend the title he won in spectacular style last year.
Trainer Pat Shaw was a relieved man after the race – knowing his star had plenty of improvement after a less than perfect preparation leading into the Lion City Cup.
“He’s had a minor hiccup over the last couple of weeks,” Shaw said.
“He’s had a ligament niggle that has restricted us working the way we would want.”
“He’s been constantly monitored by the vets here at the Turf Club and I have to sy a big thank you to all of them for all their hard work on the horse.”
“He’s going to be fitter for the KrisFlyer in three weeks time. We just couldn’t press as hard as I wanted in the lead up to this race.”
“He only had the one trial since he came back from Dubai just over three weeks ago.”
“He’ll undergo all the x-rays and have a scan before the KrisFlyer. We’ll do everything that we always do with him leading up to a big race.”
South African based owner Fred Crabbia was at Kranji to cheer home his champion.
“He’s a superstar,” Crabbia said. “He’s everything a man could wish for in a horse.”
“That was a nice prep run for the race in three weeks and I was very happy with how Felix handled him.”
“When Felix had the race won he just eased up on him in the final stages.”
Jockey Felix Coetzee said Rocket Man was right on track to defence his crown in Singapore’s famous international dash.
“He’s jumping faster these days,” the champion international jockey said.
“He’s a great horse and he gives you every confidence during a race.”
Rocket Man, a son of Western Australian based sire Viscount, has turned out a great moneyspinner for Crabbia.
The star was selected and purchased by South African based agent Andy Williams of World Wide Bloodstock and he went to $60,000 to secure him at the 2007 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale.
A Tyreel Stud graduate bred by Dean Fleming, Rocket Man is from the Sydney stakes winning McGinty mare Macrosa.
He is therefore a half brother to the South African based Group One winner Our Giant – a fellow Magic Millions graduate.
Winner: Rocket Man
Breeding: Viscount-Macrosa (McGinty)
Race: Singapore TC Lion City Cup G1 (1200m)
Sold for: $60,000
Sale: 2007 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale
Vendor: Tyreel Thoroughbred Stud
Buyer: World Wide Bloodstock
Owner(s): Mr A Crabbia
Trainer: Patrick Shaw (Kranji)
PICS – Singapore Turf Club