Ruapehu gets his third win from seven starts

Trainer Laurie Laxon's money-spinner RUAPEHU continued his excellent Singapore career when he took the Open Benchmark 67 race at Kranji last night.

Ridden a forward race by jockey John Powell, the four-year-old New Zealand-bred beat SHIPPING FORECAST by a neck with early leader POLE PARADISE hanging on for third - another neck away (above).

Owned by Laxon' Silver Fern Racing Stable, the record books will show that it was Ruapehu's third win from seven starts. However, on closer scrutiny you will see that his form reads 2-1-2-2-1-2-1 - four second and three wins.

Now that's remarkable - any which way you look at it.

Trailing Patrick Shaw's MAJESTIC MOMENTS in favouritism, Ruapehu eventually went off as the second pick.

Jumping cleanly from the middle of the line, Powell settled his mount behind the pacesetter, Pole Paradise - the mount of Ivaldo Santana.

Race favourite, Majestic Moments travelled well for Nooresh Juglall in the box-seat third - with the rest of the field well up and in with plenty of chances.

However, as they neared the top of the straight, it became obvious that Pole Paradise and Ruapehu were going to fight it out.

They turned for home running one-two with the $16 favourite, Majestic Moments, looking lost and out of touch.

Just when it looked like Ruapehu and Pole Paradise would pay out on the forecast, SHIPPING FORECAST put in a huge run.

Showing $105 on the win tote and cheered on by a battalion of Australian visitors, he made it a three-horse affair.

However, all the cheers couldn't lift Shipping Forecast ahead of Ruapehu and the son of Stravinsky got home by a neck.

Interviewed later by STC's race presenters, jockey Powell said: "Like always, Laurie (Laxon) did a really good job. He's a great trainer. He was very confident. He told me to go straight to the front and to sit up on the pace and, hopefully, he will be too good for them.

"That I did and, well, he was."