Horse racing: Gilt Complex in unlikely double after Singapore Gold Cup stunner

Raffles Cup winner snatches Gold Cup in 2nd miracle for owner and delighted jockey Rodd

In the span of three weeks, owner Graham Mackie has seen his horse Gilt Complex perform two "miracles".

The first was when the six-year-old New Zealand-bred galloper claimed an unlikely victory in last month's Group 1 Raffles Cup and the second stunner occurred yesterday with a sensational win in the Dester Singapore Gold Cup.

In a thrilling finish to the Group 1, $1.35 million race at the Singapore Turf Club, Gilt Complex passed the winning post inches ahead of defending champion Bahana.

Last year's winner was just a nose clear of Elite Excalibur.

Their photo-finish times were 2min 14.37sec, 2:14.38 and 2:14.39 respectively.

By winning the 2,200m race, the Cliff Brown-trained Gilt Complex became only the third horse to achieve the Raffles Cup-Gold Cup double after Zirna (2003) and Smart Bet (2002).

Mackie thought that his stayer could run only fourth at best when the hitherto front runners Bahana, Elite Excalibur and Majestic Moments kicked on strongly down the home straight with 150m left.

Jockey Michael Rodd (green cap) guiding Gilt Complex to an unlikely victory in the Dester Singapore Gold Cup. The top three horses were each separated by a mere 0.01 second in the closest of photo finishes.
Jockey Michael Rodd (green cap) guiding Gilt Complex to an unlikely victory in the Dester Singapore Gold Cup. The top three horses were each separated by a mere 0.01 second in the closest of photo finishes. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

"But, all of a sudden, the horse started going again, you know," he said. "The three horses up front had effectively cut him off, not on purpose, so the jockey had to go right to the inside because he knew a miracle might happen.

"Luckily, he had such a great jockey that could use his left hand and get the horse going again. It's a miracle.

"We've got two miracles now. He had a miracle as we gave him no chance when he won the Raffles Cup (at long odds of $222 for a win) and now he has got another miracle as he was completely beaten but came back again to win."

  • SINGAPORE GOLD CUP

  • 1 Gilt Complex (Win: $33, place: $11)

    2 Bahana ($21, nose)

    3 Elite Excalibur ($16, nose)

    4 Majestic Moments

  • Forecast: $82

    Tierce: $1,123

    Trio: $274

Winning jockey Michael Rodd was breathless after the emotional win. He said: "I was going nowhere at the 600m. I was just tacking on to the horses in front and I thought I would run a nice fourth, and he just sort of got his second wind halfway up the straight.

"I just let him go to the fence - he spotted the fence - and he found another gear. This is so special.

"I've been so lucky since I've been here. This ride is so special for me, emotionally. This is incredible."

For Brown, the wait for the photo-finish verdict was a nerve-racking one but hugely rewarding at the end. The Australian said: "That was fantastic, Elite Excalibur was tremendous and Bahana is a natural stayer, so I actually thought we got beaten.

"So, when it came out, I did let out a bit of a roar there. I really did. Very happy.

"I actually walked away and was pacing like the children were going to get born. I was up and down, up and down, so that was really good.

"This means a great deal. We had a few placings and to win one is fantastic. The kids at home will be rapt. The kids are really starting to like the races, so doubly pumped."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2017, with the headline 'Gilt Complex in unlikely double'. Print Edition | Subscribe