Battle Paint filly Ararat Lady franked her debut second form with a brilliant win in the $85,000 Ocean Park Stakes, a Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on Dester Singapore Gold Cup day on Sunday.
Ridden by Michael Rodd, Ararat Lady lived up to her second favourite tag after a decisive move at the 300m quickly put paid to her 13 rivals.
Favourite Hugo travelled comfortably outside leader Morpheus, but did not quicken when Ararat Lady swept past him, weakening to a disappointing seventh place around five lengths off the winner.
Winning trainer Cliff Brown’s assistant-trainer Tim Fitzsimmons said Ararat Lady had made significant headway since her baptism of fire a little over a month ago.
“She ran fantastic. It was also a great ride by Michael, who tucked her in behind,” said the Australian horseman.
“She has improved in her trackwork after the last run, and she’s also put on weight.
“We’ll see how she pulls up before deciding if she runs again or if we bring her back next year.”
With that win, Rodd ties with reigning Singapore champion jockey Vlad Duric (returns from suspension next Friday) at the top on 63 winners but remains in second place on a countback for seconds.
“Tim probably said how she has come a long way, and I couldn’t agree more,” said Rodd.
“I remember a couple of months ago when I did pacework on her, I thought she would be a Class 4 type.
“But at her first start, she showed she had really come on physically and mentally. She was very impressive today.
“There was some scrimmaging in the race, but she composed herself, put her head down and got the job done.
“She’s got a nice turn of foot and she will come back next year a better filly. I can’t see why she shouldn’t go for the 3YO series even if she still has a long way to go.
“Today, she beat a very good Restricted Maiden field as you normally get on those big days. She put it away nicely.”
The Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge kicks off sometime in March next year, culminating with the Singapore Guineas (1600m) in May. - STC