Inferno razes 'em again
Cliff Brown-trained unbeaten youngster takes the Group 3 Saas Fee Stakes
Inferno continued his meteoric rise at Kranji with his fourth consecutive success by capturing the $175,000 Group 3 Saas Fee Stakes over 1,200m yesterday.
Carrying the Barree Stable colours made famous by former Horse of the Year Debt Collector, the Cliff Brown-trained Australian-bred razed a smart field of three-year-olds to win by 13/4 lengths. He clocked a superb time of 1min 09.36sec.
Big Hearted ran second, a head in front of third-placed Rocket Star. The front-runner Qiji Acheeva held on fourth.
Brown has won a lion's share of the Group races at Kranji but it was his first Saas Fee Stakes, ditto jockey Michael Rodd, who rode a confident race on the raging $6 favourite.
The race started with Beer Garden and War Frontier slowly away. Qiji Acheeva, an all-the-way winner two starts back, scooted to the front. Celavi, a debut winner and third second-up, was next, followed by Universal Empire, a winner of two of his last three starts.
Inferno and stablemate Bluestone, unbeaten in his first two starts, were next in handy spots.
Qiji Acheeva straightened up first but Rodd had Inferno swooping up on the outside. Inferno took the lead 300m out. Although he drifted in, he had packed too much power. The world is now his oyster.
"Yeah, it was pretty easy," said Rodd.
"He stepped a little bit slow but it's amazing. I just gave him a squeeze and he just put himself right there and switched off.
"They actually went a little too slow for me coming to the turn. That's why I decided to move in into it. He was just travelling too well. Like I've said , you don't want to hold him up too much, because he's not using his strides.
"You'll see, coming down the hill from the 800m to the 600m, I had to grab hold of him a few times and he just doesn't like it. He likes to roll. So, once he got past them, he did his usual thing and laid in.
"But the race is over. It's another box ticked and we'll move on to bigger and better things."
Brown was certainly pleased with unearthing something special yet again. But, as always, he was also cautious in his post-race comment.
"You have to be very careful, you know, you really do. He's an exciting horse and he's doing things very well," he said.
"You know, I've been fortunate to have very good horses here and at home, so he's on his way - but a long way to go."