Infantry (NZ) (Tavistock) led home a one-two finish for graduates of the Karaka sale ring when he won Sunday's S$350,000 Sgp-2 Merlion Trophy (1200m) at Kranji.
Infantry was purchased for just $7,000 at the 2013 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, while runner-up Nova Swiss (NZ) (Swiss Ace) cost $10,000 at the 2015 Select Sale.
Providing a fourth Merlion Trophy victory for trainer Alwin Tan, the Manoel Nunes-ridden Infantry charged home from midfield and finished over the top of his stablemate Nova Swiss to win by a neck.
Infantry has now had 15 starts for six wins, six placings and more than S$550,000 in prizemoney. For Nova Swiss it was his first taste of defeat in Singapore, having previously won all of his five starts.
"Both horses ran very well. Nova Swiss is only three and will improve, and even if he lost for the first time, he proved he could measure up in Group races," said Tan.
"Infantry is four and has more experience in such races. He is a very consistent horse and though he is more of a middle-distance horse, there was not much choice but to run him over a short distance first-up.
"Nunes knows Infantry very well and he pushed the button at the right time to just get there."
A full-brother to the stakes-placed stayer Night Nurse (NZ) (Tavistock), Infantry was bred by Cambridge Stud's Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan. He was offered by Cambridge Stud at the 2013 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, where he was purchased by Ms A Rutten for $7,000.
Infantry is owned by the Kajorn Petch Racing No. 2 Stable. While Sunday's Merlion Trophy was his first stakes win, he had previously run second to Debt Collector (NZ) (Thorn Park) in the Sgp-1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) and third behind Daniel (NZ) (Per Incanto) in the Sgp-3 Colonial Chief Stakes (1700m).
|Purchaser||Ms A Rutten (Tauranga)|
|Breeding||Tavistock – The Nightingale|
|Sale||Lot 329, 2013 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, $7,000|