GILT COMPLEX was an upset winner of the Group 1 Raffles Cup last start, but it was no fluke this time around in Sunday’s Singapore Gold Cup.
The New Zealand-bred runner dived late along the inside to narrowly score the $1.35 million prize at Kranji, giving Australian jockey Michael Rodd one of his career highlights.
There is another Australian connection with trainer Cliff Brown, winner of the South Australian Derby on three occasions, said winning the most coveted race in Singapore was a special moment.
“It means a great deal to win the Singapore Gold Cup, especially after I’ve had a few placings in that race,” Brown said.
“The kids at home will be rapt. I was like a kid myself when they called for the photo, I was walking up and down, up and down, and I let out a big roar when No 2 went up.”
Gilt Complex looked well-held in the straight as stablemate Elite Excalibur was in front, but Rodd’s decision to dart back to the inside was enough to get the runner back in the action for a three-way photo finish with Elite Excalibur and Bahana (ridden by William Pike).
“Michael said he found a second wind at the 600m, I actually thought he wouldn’t stay the trip,” Brown said.
“Elite Excalibur was fantastic, but Bahana is such a natural stayer. It was a fantastic result.”
Rodd didn’t expect to win the Singapore Gold Cup mid-way down the straight, but the fence seemingly switched Gilt Complex into another gear.
“I thought he was gone at the 600m. I was just tacking up behind the horse in front and I thought I would run a nice fourth,” Rodd said.
“But he found another gear when I took him to the fence, he was just pushing himself to get there and it’s just so amazing to win the Gold Cup.
“I’m lost for words. I’ve been so lucky winning all the big races, earlier on for Laurie Laxon with Stepitup, then there was Well Done, Debt Collector for Cliff and now this, the Gold Cup – for Cliff again.”
Gilt Complex is raced by New Zealand owner Graham Mackie and Trish Dunell (who supplies NZ Racing Photos) and its earnings have now exceeded $1.5 million.
Mackie and Dunell also had Singapore group one success with seven-race winner Spalato.