Debt Collector (Thorn Park) undeniably stamped himself as this year’s best three-year-old when he unleashed blinding acceleration at the 300m to land the $500,000 Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) on Sunday.
The last of the three wins of the son of Thorn Park in the first Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m), had been particularly ominous in the way he gobbled up his adversaries in the home straight.
In the Group 1 Guineas, at the 400m, the Challenge double was well on the cards going with the way Debt Collector was jogging, but the remaining task ahead still looked nothing short of insurmountable, even if the Long Course gave some leeway for a spectacular comeback.
But once Rodd got Debt Collector into overdrive, the complexion of the concluding stages shifted shape in the twinkling of an eye. Debt Collector produced an electric turn of foot that saw him swallow up the pair in no time, almost sweeping off Magnum in the process, before careering away to arguably one of the most stunning finishes ever seen at Kranji.
The Victorian-based Barree Stable-owned gelding in the end recorded a soft two-length win from a very gallant Infantry with Magnum finishing third another half-a-length away. The winning time was 1min 34.4secs for the mile on the Long Course.
Click here to watch Debt Collector win the Group 1 Singapore Guineas.
Normally a picture of nonchalance after his horses win, trainer Cliff Brown was barely able to speak this time, and that was after he should have had some post-race practice after winning another Group 1 race with Zac Spirit in the Lion City Cup (1200m) three weeks earlier. The Australian may not have realised it but he has now won the last three feature races at Kranji as the previous one was the Classic won by Debt Collector on the same day as Zac Spirit.
“I liked where he was in the race, but when they turned for home, I’d have been happy if he had run third or fourth,” he said.
“His last 400m was just incredible. He’s a horse that doesn’t excite me in trackwork but I’m really excited now.
“He will go for a much deserved break now. Hopefully he will be my Derby horse next year.”
Brown, who landed the Group 1 Derby (2000m) with Clint (Casual Lies) in 2011, would know better not to get too carried away early, as he knows all about the ups and downs of racing especially when the race is more than one year away.
Rodd for one was more no-holds-barred in the way he waxed lyrical about Debt Collector. The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey would know a thing or two about speedy conveyances, but said what his third Singapore Group 1 winner did was almost freakish.
“I’ve ridden a lot of winners all over the world, but that was one sensational win, especially as he beat a very good bunch of three-year-olds this year,” said the Australian hoop.
“He began well but I had to keep chasing him early.
“Suddenly he started to track into the race and when I angled him into the clear, he was closing in very well. But when I saw Magnum was quite a distance in front, I thought we had no chance.
“But his turn of foot was just out of this world. He finished so hard that he ran on top of them. He won with authority in the end.
Punted down to $16 favouritism, Debt Collector has now collected more than $530,000 in prizemoney from four wins in only seven starts, not to mention he also picked up a bonus of $50,000 for landing two Legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge.