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Takaoka and Munro strike Gold with Jupiter
Gareth Pepper

Arriving on course, there was most definitely a buzz surrounding Race 6, a $125,000 Open Stakes race over 1600m. The biggest debate was whether or not the young pretender would defeat his senior, a more experienced counterpart. Of course, I refer to Jupiter Gold taking on Singapore Horse of the Year, Debt Collector.

Come race time, the focus was mainly on the above-mentioned individuals. Debt Collector, being his usual self, was full of beans on parade prior to being united with regular pilot Michael Rodd, looking exceptionally well and Jupiter Gold walking elegantly on parade showing all what a magnificent 3-year-old he has developed into. The race was on!

Debt Collector was the favourite right up to race time, when suddenly a big drop on the board showed Jupiter Gold (Alan Munro) as the new favourite as they jumped! In his customary style, Debt Collector was quick to drop to last and raced just behind Jupiter Gold. 

Jupiter Gold (Alan Munro) works hard to emerge victorious in Race 6.

As we have seen with all of his victories, Debt Collector started to make his move around the turn and started moving up to the leaders with ease. As if perfectly scripted, he joined Jupiter Gold at the top of the straight and to add spice to the mixture, Nova Strike (Olivier Placais) was on the inside of this pair, and the race was on.

It seemed Debt Collector had the measure of both of his challengers but at roughly the 150m marker, he had not put the race to bed and the challengers rallied. In a big turn of events, Jupiter Gold rallied with courage and determination and burst between his rivals to quicken away after looking like he was done for. What a great performance from a young and talented individual. 

Not disgraced in the second place was Nova Strike who ran a very good race and in third was Debt Collector. The winning time was 1min 34.73secs for the 1600m trip on the Short Course.

Both the trainer and rider of the winner made the point that they felt the fact that they were receiving 7kgs from Debt Collector told in the end and were full of praise for their leading 3-year-old, who will most definitely set his sights on some trophies in the upcoming months.

For now, Jupiter Gold has stamped himself as one of the leading forces for the upcoming Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge and will be a strong contender for the leading honours.

Meanwhile, jockey Rodd reported that Debt Collector coughed on several occasions after the winning post.  A subsequent veterinary examination was requested on Debt Collector which revealed that the horse exhibited signs of respiratory distress after the race.  He will be required to pass a 1000m gallop trial and veterinary examination prior to being declared to race again.