Yulong Edition wins on double promotion
4YO clinches first race on turf and registers class record of 1:34.03
It is not every day that you see a horse jump two classes and win: The horse has to be good.
Yulong Edition became one of the elite few at Kranji yesterday, when he stepped up on his laststart Class 4 success to capture the day's main event in the card of 11 - the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1,600m on turf.
The favourite was stablemate Sacred Croix, runner-up in the first two legs of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Series and sixth as a strong fancy in the final leg - the Group 1 Singapore Derby - but trainer Mark Walker was smiling all the same.
The two-time Singapore champion entered Yulong Edition in Class 2 "by default" which came with a luxurious 50kg handicap and got the accolades.
He had intended to race Yulong Edition in Class 3 on Friday but the 1,600m race failed to garner enough entries.
Yulong Edition, whose two earlier Kranji victories were over the Polytrack 1,600m, not only scored his first race on turf but registered a class record in 1min 34.03sec.
The previous record of 1min 34.21sec was recorded only two weeks ago by the James Peters-trained Black Jade, who ran fourth behind Yulong Edition yesterday.
Owned by Yu Long Racing Stable, Yulong Edition had his first four starts for a win and a third with trainer Shane Baertschiger and is now a back-to-back winner from four starts with Walker.
The four-year-old Irish-bred gelding has taken his prize money to over $110,000. A further rise in grade is expected and a stake in the major events is not beyond his reach.
Ridden by lightweight jockey Juan Paul van der Merwe, Yulong Edition led by nearly a length from Loyalty Man. Target was the meat in the sandwich.
The two favourites, Sacred Croix and Gold Strike, were last.
Loyalty Man inched closer to Yulong Edition turning into the straight but failed to do more. Jockey Michael Rodd got Gold Strike moving up gradually.
But, with the postage stamp weight on his back, Yulong Edition kept going strongly. Gold Strike made a last lunge but went down by half a length.
"On his form, he was a good, strong front-runner. Obviously, we thought the grass was not his type, he's more of a Poly. But the ground was on top and he just stayed there," said van der Merwe.
"You know, he was galloping on his own in front and, then he got into the straight, he got on his right foot and he just did his thing in front."
Walker said Yulong Edition came from the Baertschiger yard in great order.
"Full credit to them, he used to be a barrier rogue, so they did a good job with him," said the runaway season's leader.
"Think he got a soft-enough lead today, you know, and good on JP, too. He rode to correct weight and got a pretty soft lead up front, didn't he?
"He was meant actually to race on Friday in a Class 3 mile but there weren't enough entries, so he ended up in this race a little bit by default.
"I suppose since that happened, the handicapper will be kind to him."