Stepitup dazzles in Kranji Mile
Sunday’s $S500,000 Kranji Mile Sgp-1 was expected to be another easy win for Spalato, unbeaten in all eight of his Singapore starts.
But Arrowfield graduate Stepitup, who started third favourite behind Spalato & Quechua, had other ideas about how the first leg of the Singapore Triple Crown would work out.
When Pachelbel’s Canon set the pace in front, with Spalato ready to pounce behind him and Stepitup bustling along as usual at the rear, the race seemed to be unfolding as anticipated. It changed in a few seconds when Stepitup and Michael Rodd finally found a way through the wall of horses facing them at the top of the straight.
The pair hit the lead 400 metres out and put the outcome beyond doubt with a dazzling turn of foot that gave Stepitup a four-length victory – easily the biggest winning margin of the nine Singapore Group wins on his CV.
Quechua was second, with Wild Geese third and Spalato, possibly hampered by throwing a shoe during the race, more than five lengths from the winner.
Stepitup has now won 14 of his 32 starts and taken his earnings to more than $S2.2 million – many times more than the $90,000 paid for him by Cliff Brown at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.
The 6YO gelding is one of six stakeswinners sold by Arrowfield at that Sale. (The others are Group 1 winner Snitzerland, Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel, South African Group 2 winner Honorine and Listed winners Smoko & Road Trippin’).
Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Stepitup is by Hussonet from the multiple stakes-winning racemare and marvellous broodmare Ain’t Seen Nothin’ (by Nothin’ Leica Dane), also the dam of dual stakeswinner Ain’tnofallenstar (by Starcraft) and Group 3 2YO winner Bachman (by All American). Ain’t Seen Nothin’ has a 3YO colt by Starcraft, a yearling sister to Bachman and last week she delivered a filly by Dundeel.
Stepitup is trained for the Tivic Stable by Laurie Laxon whose assistant Shane Ellis said, “That was probably his best run ever. It’s the first time I’ve seen him sprint like that.
“We still gave him a good chance as Spalato was third-up while he was rock-hard fit, so you never know what can happen. I told Michael to look at his races and how he must get him on the bit the whole way through.
“He’s a real champion and now he will definitely go to the Raffles Cup. He will run the journey and then we’ll see about the Gold Cup.”
The second Leg of the Triple Crown, the Raffles Cup 1800m Sgp-1, is run on 25 October, and the 2200-metre Singapore Gold Cup Sgp-1 follows on 15 November. No horse has yet won the Triple Crown.