Jupiter Gold lowers the colours of Debt Collector
Rising star shines as Singapore's reigning champion horse finishes third
Weight can stop a train. This saying rang true at Kranji last night with the defeat of reigning Horse of the Year Debt Collector at the hooves of JUPITER GOLD and Nova Strike.
Most felt class would prevail but eight-in-a-row hero Debt Collector found that conceding 7kg to rising star Jupiter Gold and 6kg to seven-time winner Nova Strike was a tall order.
Only half a length separated Jupiter Gold and Nova Strike, with another half a length to Debt Collector, whose Dubai trip later this month is now probably up for discussion.
Jupiter Gold's victory was especially impressive, considering that he jumped awkwardly and was the last to leave the gates.
Mr Fantastic led from Debt Collector's stablemate and QE II Cup winner Laughing Gravy. Jupiter Gold was second last, in front of Debt Collector, who was about seven lengths adrift.
Laughing Gravy went up to eyeball Mr Fantastic on straightening. Nova Strike pounced immediately and soon found Debt Collector and Jupiter Gold joining in the fray.
For a fleeting moment, it looked like Debt Collector was going to power away with his trademark burst but it just wasn't there under the 58kg impost. Jupiter Gold, the surprising final-minute $9 favourite, and Nova Strike found more under their lighter loads to land Debt Collector his first defeat since November 2015.
Both trainer Hideyuki Takaoka and jockey Alan Munro conceded that the weight made the difference between winning and losing.
"Debt Collector struggled and my horse really found his strength. It's the weight. That made us the winner in the end, so we were just fortunate. But Jupiter Gold is really good," said Munro.