Singapore Prize Fighter Wins

Date: 5 Aug 2013

Singapore Prize Fighter Wins

The David Ellis purchased, Mark Walker trained, Fortuna Syndicates owned Manny Pacuiao really punched above his weight when winning at Kranji on Sunday as the Singapore Turf Club reports:

A smart ride by apprentice jockey Tan Wei Li coupled with a good dose of luck saw outsider Manny Pacuiao come home with a late rush to deal a well-timed knockout blow in a thrilling photo finish on Sunday.

A previous one-time winner in New Zealand, the six-year-old son had up to now not quite produced anything earth-shattering in eight runs at Kranji for trainer Mark Walker and the Fortuna NZ Racing Stable. Though he was originally the subject of some support, his good runs became few and far between, which probably explained his three-figure odds ($114) in the $55,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1200m.

But after looking 'on the ropes' after being strung up in traffic from the 800m with no clear galloping room in sight, Manny Pacuiao - spelled slightly differently by one alphabet from the Filipino champion boxer Manny Pacquiao he is named after - suddenly produced a turn of foot hitherto unseen at Kranji once he got into the clear to go and open his account, albeit by the skin of his teeth.

The Laurie Laxon-trained nine-year-old Pacino (Manoel Nunes), who had started a sweeping run from the backstraight, was the one being shouted the winner at the 200m when he hit the front.

After losing ground from the 700m and getting a little snookered on the rails, favourite Faretti (Joao Moreira) was also seeing daylight and poking his nose into a four-cornered fight, with Angry Cat (Danny Beasley) and Take It Home (Alan Munro) not far behind.

Just when a winning treble for Laxon (he scored earlier with Orakei Korako and Golden Chalice) looked a foregone conclusion, Manny Pacuiao suddenly loomed as the fresh horse on the scene as he attacked the line with plenty of purpose on the outside. The winning post looked like it would, however, arrive a fraction too late, but the New Zealand-bred made a late lunge to finish locked together with Pacino.

The judges' numbers took a few agonising seconds to go up, but the print showed Manny Pacuiao had outlasted his older rival by a nose with a luckless Faretti doing well to run third another half-a-length away. The winning time was 1min 12.43secs.

Tan said he was not giving himself a ghost of a chance after they kept running into dead ends from the back, but was rapt Lady Luck went his way in the end.

“I got checked when they slowed down the pace from the 800m to the 600m. I had nowhere to run and I didn't think I could win then,” said Tan who was punching in his 10th win for the season.

“When the gap opened, I went for it but I still didn't think he would get there in time, but he kept trying and luckily for us we won.”

Trainer Mark Walker's stable supervisor Gus Clutterbuck said Tan deserved all the credit for Manny Pacuiao's maiden Kranji success.

“Willy rode a very good race. He didn't panic and launched his attack at the right time,” said Clutterbuck.

“He does a lot of work at the stable and fully deserves that win. This horse has had his issues and it's good for the owners and the whole team to see him finally get on the board here.”


Sign up to our newsletter