Two-time Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker came up trumps at Kranji on Sunday when he produced former European galloper Elite Invincible to take out the rich S$1.35 million Singapore Gold Cup (2000m).
Superbly handled by Benny Woodworth, the four-year-old gelding capitalised on a rails run in the home straight to dash clear before holding out the gallant challenge of topweight Circuit Land by a head in a desperate finish.
Walker was quick to praise the effort of both horse and rider although he said that Woodworth had ignored his pre-race instructions.
“You’ve got to take your hat off to Benny as I had said to him we’re going to go back from the draw,” Walker said.
“The next thing he was up outside the leader.
“You need a bit of luck though as he hasn’t had the best of preparations. He’s had a temperature and missed his first run.
“I said (to his owners) we can still get here but you just have to trust and believe what the stable does.
“We had nothing to lose and plenty to gain.”
It was the sixth win in Singapore and seventh overall for Elite Invincible who began his career in Europe under the name Qatar Man. He has now won twice at the elite level after taking out the S$1 million Charity Bowl (1600m) back in June.
The win in the country’s richest and most prestigious domestic race was also the 500th winner for Walker in Singapore.
The Matamata horseman relocated to Singapore in 2010 and is currently sitting fourth on the trainers’ premiership headed by Lee Freedman.