It's War Affair in record time
After winning the first two legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge emphatically over 1,200m and 1,400m, it was just a formality for WAR AFFAIR in the final leg over 1,600m last night.
Like most, jockey Danny Beasley believed only bad luck would take away the win, but he had none of that.
War Affair not only won the Group 1 $500,000 feature a long way out by four easy lengths, he also set a new course record over the distance on the long course in 1min 33.69sec, eclipsing Always Certain's time by 0.16sec.
Always Certain achieved it with only 51kg on his back in 2010 but War Affair did it with 57kg and became the fifth horse to complete the Grand Slam.
Better Than Ever, Gingerbread Man, Super Easy and Stepitup achieved the feat from 2010 to 2013 respectively.
$1.4M PRIZE MONEY
War Affair, who was crowned Champion Two-Year-Old last season when trained by Mark Walker and has now clinched the top Three-Year-Old title, picked up a $150,000 bonus. With his stakes, he has now taken his total winnings to $1.4 million for Warplan Racing Stable.
Beasley jumped the Alwin Tan-trained superstar out in a flash but two-from-two winner Lively Dragon tore away to set a scorching pace, leading by almost 10 lengths at one stage.
But he started to come back to the field at the halfway mark. Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe winning trainer Laurie Laxon's pair of Goodman and Daniel closed in fast. Then came Marseille Roulette with War Affair cruising up on the outside.
Goodman overtook the deflated leader turning for home but Beasley had brought War Affair up menacingly.
In a trice, the $6 favourite was in front and started to leave the others as if they were standing still.
Trainer Tan, who has won in Group 2 and 3, was very relieved his charge did not let his legions of supporters down.
"In fact, I was very pressured with my first Group 1 with this kind of prize money. Wonderful, my first Group 1 winner," he said.
"Danny rode the perfect race. I think we worked out as a very good team and he put in a lot of effort on this horse, too. I think I need to thank him."
Then, the season's leading trainer declared: "If the owner wants to take the challenge, I think I will go for next year's SIA Cup.
"At the moment, I can't think of anything else, but I think down the road, I will plan together with the owner."
War Affair is the best horse I’ve ridden in Singapore, says beasley
He punched his fist after the winning post, probably more out of relief than jubilation.
After all, jockey Danny Beasley carried the whole of Kranji on his shoulders when he rode $6 favourite WAR AFFAIR in the $500,000 Group 1 Singapore Guineas last night.
"Yes, pretty special. As I have said, I have won a few Group 1s and everyone is special for a special reason, but this one has been a real team effort," said the Australian jockey.
"This horse has had undivided attention for the last six months or so. This was his race, you know. We were confident he would win the other two races - they were bonuses - but this was what we wanted and this is what we got."
The breakneck speed set by two-from-two winner Lively Dragon enabled War Affair to clock a blistering 1min 33.69sec, a new course record for the 1,600m long course.
"The speed was good and we just had a perfect run," said Beasley.
"We buoyed ourselves fifth and, just like the second leg, we couldn't have scripted any better.
"He was enjoying himself and you just start getting goosebumps from that far out. He's a bloody special horse, this horse."
But was he surprised his mount put his nine rivals to bed in a couple of strides?
"Yeah, that was what he does. He has got a great turn of foot and he goes to the front and, like he won by four, but his last 200m, he was coasting, you know," said Beasley.
"He was waiting for somethng to come at him. He has had a couple of the big boys that have knocked him off before but it will take a really good horse to knock him this time."
How would he compare to the other stars he was associated with?
"Oh, it is very unfair to compare but, as far as Singapore horses go, he's the best I've ridden.
"Hopefully, one day, if everything goes well, he'll get to compete internationally and he can prove that because I keep saying it but a lot of people don't believe me, he is a very special horse, this horse."