Stepitup Produces Singapore Best

Concerns about the ability of the six-year-old Stepitup to match it with best horses in Singapore lingered until well after the start of the SPG-G1 Kranji Mile (1600m). But by the time he passed the 200m mark they had begun to disappear –  and at the winning post they had vanished completely. Stepitup won Sunday’s Kranji Mile by four lengths, returning himself to the elite group of Australian equine exports and taking his winning tally to 14 from 32 starts and his racetrack earnings to almost S$2.5 million. Jockey Michael Rodd readily admitted he’d had to resort to unusual vigour to keep Stepitup in touch with the field in the first 600m. “They told me he was a funny horse to ride and I had to give him some slapping and kicking to hold a spot before I eventually let him go,” Rodd said. Stepitup showed a previously unseen turn of foot to win by four lengths and revitalising his prospects for the remaining two legs of the Singapore Triple Crown Series. While Stepitup had won his three of his previous four starts, he had been given little chance against Singapore’s middle distance star Spalato. But the odds-on favourite finished only fourth, his first defeat in Singapore, as the Laurie Laxon-trained Stepitup strolled home. Assistant-trainer Shane Ellis described the win as Stepitup’s “best ever” and made him a likely runner in the next two Triple Crown legs. “It’s the first time I’ve seen him sprint like that,” Ellis said. “He’s a real champion and now he will definitely go to the Raffles Cup. He will run the journey and then we’ll see about the Gold Cup.” Stepitup, who is from the stakes-winning racemare Aint Seen Nothin’, was purchased by another Singapore trainer, Cliff Brown, for $90,000 from the Bellerive Stud draft at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier sale. Footage and Image: Singapore Turf Club
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