Alibi fends off Infantry
Clements' Lion City Cup runner-up lands $300,000 Group 2 Stewards' Cup
ALIBI made amends for his Group 1 Lion City Cup defeat by Lim's Cruiser with a well-deserved victory in the $300,000 Group 2 Stewards' Cup over 1,400m at Kranji yesterday.
Unlike the Lion City Cup, in which he landed in all sorts of problems, the Michael Clements-trained rising star was ridden a treat to beat dual-Group winner Infantry by half a length in this first leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge.
Lim's Cruiser, who was chasing his fourth consecutive Group success and was the $10 favourite, finished third, another half a length away.
Horse of the Year Debt Collenctor was fourth, a length further back.
After a good jump, jockey Glen Boss managed to steer Alibi to track the leader Oxbow Sun and shot clear on straightening.
Infantry charged up and got to half a length but found that getting close was one thing, getting past was another.
Lim's Cruiser and Debt Collector made their bids together but their powerful spurt somewhat deserted them yesterday.
Clements said Alibi has been running good races and has developed into a better and stronger horse this campaign.
"It's just a great effort from him and I've always thought he would come back good as a four-year-old and he has done exactly that," said Clements, who won the same feature race with Revolte in 2008.
"On the way he has gone today, we've always thought that a mile (1,600m) would be absolutely be no problem for him. He's certainly bred for it."
The second leg of the 4YO Challenge will be the $500,000 Group 1 Patron's Bowl over 1,600m on June 18.
Boss said Alibi might have been the smallest horse in the field but he "possesses one of the biggest hearts".
"This horse dug in and refused to be passed, you know. It's his will and his heart which really got him over the line," said the Australian.
"You know, he ran very well the other day on a soft track and, as was highlighted, nothing went right - he missed the start and got smashed up and ended up further than I wanted.
But, to his credit, he was brave.
"Lim's Cruiser beat him by two lengths and it should have been a neck, if anything. So, you know, the discrepancy with them in the market was probably wrong because my horse was going to be hard to beat today."