Arrowfield graduate steps it up in Singapore

Stepitup’s local hero status in Singapore is assured after his fifth feature win tonight, in the $S200,000 Fortune Bowl Sgp-3 which celebrates Chinese New Year.

The 4YO Arrowfield graduate settled comfortably in third position at his first attempt over 2000 metres but was checked from behind as the field approached the home turn, momentarily unbalancing the horse and worrying his regular rider Ivaldo Santana.

However, it neither injured nor halted Stepitup, who set sail for the winning post with an easy victory in sight, until the fast-finishing Martin challenged him in the final stages. Stepitup responded bravely to hold him out by a half-length in 2:03.44, with Nandowra 2.5 lengths back in third place.

Santana said, “It was his first time over 2000m, but today he gave me the feeling he could see out the distance. The Derby should be okay, but we’ll see how it goes.

“I am very lucky to be the jockey of such a horse. Even though I’ve ridden many good horses in Brazil and it is different there and hard to compare, I will still say he’s the best horse I’ve ridden in my career – just on his big heart.”

Trainer Sonny Yeoh said, “I’ll have to check him first. I will probably give him a short break, but tentatively, the (Singapore Group 3) Polytrack Mile Championship (on 7 March) is his next big race.

“The Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge is further down the road, and even then, I may look at only two legs, the first (Stewards’ Cup over 1400m) and the last (Emirates Singapore Derby over 2000m).”

Stepitup was purchased for $90,000 by Cliff Brown from Arrowfield at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. He has now recorded nine wins, including five at Singapore Group level, over distances ranging from 1000 to 2000 metres, and has earned almost $S1 million for the Tivic Stable.

Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Stepitup is by Hussonet from the fine racemare Ain’t Seen Nothin’ (by Nothin’ Leica Dane), also the dam of dual stakeswinner Ain’tnofallenstar (by Starcraft), her sister Star Pupil (placed at 3 this season) and Bachman (2YO colt by All American). Ain’t Seen Nothin’ is again in foal to All American.

Arrowfield will offer Stepitup’s yearling half-brother by Starcraft at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale.

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