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Cooled-down Hot Gold wins Jubilee Stakes
Michael Lee

​While most of the pre-race hype around Sunday’s inaugural $200,000 Jubilee Stakes (1400m) had all along been about the Michael Freedman-trained Ronnie Brown and his colourful connections, it was in the end another Brown who stole the thunder – trainer Cliff Brown.

The Australian trainer and his runner Hot Gold barely got a mention in the run-up to the three-year-old race marking the 170th Anniversary of the Singapore Turf Club, overshadowed by all the attention cast on the unbeaten pair of Ronnie Brown and Huka Falls, or the other Freedmans Super Good and Super Junior.

But the Irish-bred by Iffraaj was still the fourth pick in the market at $60 given he already boasted one win (1400m) and four seconds from six starts, which meant he was no slouch either. The Gold Stable-owned gelding certainly underscored that potential when he came from a handy spot to score a stylish half-a-length win from another outsider Jackpot (Ivaldo Santana).

Hot Gold (Danny Beasley) takes out the Jubilee Stakes on Sunday.

Silveron Warrior (Alan Munro) who had also been left out of the calculations despite being no pushover (two wins from three starts) ran a creditable third another half-a-length away with Ronnie Brown (Stephen Baster), who was sent out the even-money favourite, finishing out of the placings for fourth another half-a-length away.

The son of Darci Brahma did give his boisterous owners plenty of reasons to cheer at the 200m when he kept finding under Baster’s urgings after setting the pace from the jump, but to the heartbreak of his legion of fans, he just could not contain the swoopers this time.

Second favourite ($17) Huka Falls, who was caught three wide for most of the trip, did not have the same acceleration as at his first two wins to finish down the course in seventh, but all honours to the winner, who had long been considered to be his own worst enemy given his nervous disposition.

“He’s always finished thereabouts even if he’s been a bit of a hothead, but the boys have done a tremendous job with him, and he was a lot less tense today,” said Brown.

“He ran very well first-up. If he had raced against older horses after that – and won he would have copped a penalty and that would have put him back a little at the weight scale in this race.

“I would not have raced him today in that case. That was why I decided against racing him again after that first-up race.

“He’s a very genuine horse and he also got a wonderful ride today. We will just have to nurse him along and muck around with him.”

Good as Gold: Trainer Cliff Brown, owner's representative, ex-Kranji trainer Arnaud de Moussac
and jockey Danny Beasley show off their trophies at the prize presentation ceremony.

Brown said he was honoured to have etched his name to such a historical milestone for the Singapore Turf Club.

“Singapore is my home now, and it’s great to be able to have a small part in its rich history,” said Brown who has been training in Singapore since 2008.

Beasley, who has been paired with Hot Gold at all his runs bar one, said the mellowed-out gelding fully deserved the accolades.

“All credit to Cliffy and the boys, especially Tim (Fitzsimmons) and Sabri who have done a superb job to get this horse to settle down,” he said.

“Cliff did tell me his work was a bit down and he needed a bit of a sharpener. That was why we gave him a gallop the other day.

“It’s been a great team effort. All I have to do is hold on to him and put him in the clear.”

While the celebrations were a lot more muted compared to what it would have been had Ronnie Brown scored, a familiar face among the winning connections did make for interesting trivia.

Former Kranji-based trainer Arnaud de Moussac was on hand to receive the trophy on behalf of the owner Yong Nam Seng. Now a shipping businessman, the French-born Singapore citizen still comes to the races once in a while, mainly to support Mr Yong, who was one of his owners (Millennium Magic) during his training days at Kranji in the early 2000s.

“I’m overseas most of the time and don’t really have the time to come to Kranji, but I’m glad I did today,” said de Moussac.

“I had a hunch it would be all worthwhile!”