Punters were treated to a $209 shock when Destroyer Eclipse (NZ) (Alamosa) popped out of the woodwork to land the S$70,000 Kranji Stakes C Division 2 race over 1400m in Singapore on Friday night.
But English trainer James Peters was his usual composed self at the winner’s circle, saying that the win was “no fluke” in his books.
He said the Alamosa four-year-old’s last few unplaced runs had not left him indifferent, but more significantly, he had devised a clever little change in battle plan which to him, pulled all its weight in the final analysis.
Usually held up at the rear, even if his maiden Kranji win was recorded by leading all the way, Destroyer Eclipse was ridden a lot closer to the speed this time.
Tracking up favourite Circuit Mission (High Chaparral) in fifth spot as roughie Justice Light (NZ) (Darci Brahma) towed the 12-horse field along, Destroyer Eclipse was certainly living up to his name when he stealthily came pouncing from behind to first upstage the top pick before asserting his superiority inside the last 150m.
Chalaza (NZ) (Road To Rock) and Circuit Mission put up a good struggle, but they were beaten fair and square by a contender not many might not have included in their calculations – except for Peters – but evidently was no pushover.
“He ran a few nice couple of races which were better than what they looked on paper,” said Peters.
“As it was on the Short Course E tonight, Vlad and I did a quick change of tactics in the parade ring. I told him to ride him more positive.
“He’s quite a headstrong horse and that’s why he was ridden back to switch him off. So there was no fluke about tonight’s win.
“I think this horse (Destroyer Eclipse) can progress on to further.”
Though Duric did put heads together with Peters at the parade ring, the Australian rider was clearly not as confident they could pull it off.
“The E Course can be a tricky track, to come across the speed and all that, but I took advantage of his barrier (six) to ride him more positive,” said the two-time Singapore champion jockey.
“He jumped so well tonight. To his credit, he can be a bit aggressive but he relaxed well.
“He tacked on really well tonight. We came off the back of the favourite (Circuit Mission), and he got a bit lost on his own, but he was overall impressive.
“I won on him before but I haven’t ridden him for a while. I remember him as a dopey bugger, but he surprised me tonight.”
With that third win from 14 starts, Destroyer Eclipse has now amassed close to S$160,000 in stakes for the Eclipse Stable. -STC