Another Derby Hero for Tavistock
Tara Madgwick - Monday, 10 July 2017
Cambridge Stud's champion Montjeu son Tavistock added another Derby hero to his resume when classy stayer Infantry took out the Singapore Derby at Kranji on Sunday.

Infantry powered away to an emotional Emirates Singapore Derby win for both trainer Alwin Tan and jockey Manoel Nunes.

Infantry - Grant CourtneyThe prestigious $1.15 million Group 1 race over 2000m has been an elusive prize for the reigning Singapore champion trainer in his eight years at Kranji.

Nunes, Singapore's three-time champion jockey, does have one Singapore Derby win to his name, courtesy of the outstanding Spalato the year before (2014), but the Brazilian hoop joined Tan in describing Infantry's Derby success as an even more memorable career highlight.

"When I won on Spalato, he was the clear-cut favourite. Don't get me wrong, it was special as it was my first Derby, but this second Derby is even more meaningful because I just came back from injury," said Nunes.

"Spalato was the horse to beat and he won easily, but there were many question marks over Infantry going into the race, whether he can run the trip, the others are better than him and all that.

"But I've been very confident all along as I could feel he was in the best form of his life. I galloped him on Saturday and Tuesday, and I told Joe (D'Zulkifliy), Alwin's assistant-trainer that he would win the Derby.

"I know this horse really well, and he gave me such great confidence. Today, he just showed me where to go, he is so professional.

"In the running, I even told Danny (Beasley on Lim's Cruiser) what a lovely position I was in. He's a horse that doesn't like to be chased or held back, and today, everything was perfect.

"At the 700m, I had a lot of horse under me, and when the gaps opened, he just pulled away to a big break. He got a bit tired in the end but he had enough left in the tank to last it out.

"This is a miracle and thank God, it's worked out well. It's unbelievable, three weeks after my injury, I've come back and won the Derby, I'm very pleased.

"A big thank you to the owners and Alwin for keeping me on this horse, and the doctor who operated on me and made sure I come back in time."

TavistockSent out as the joint second favourite with Alibi and Elite Excalibur, the son of Tavistock held on valiantly to post a one-length victory from Lim's Samurai with Nova Strike third another neck away, taking home around $600,000 in prizemoney to swell his bank account to around $1.3 million.

First known as a sprinter, Infantry has gradually been groomed into a middle-distance performer via an unsuccessful trip to Korea last September, and was at his third Group success following wins inthe Group 2 Merlion Trophy (1200m) and Group 3 JBBA Moonbeam Vase (1800m) earlier this year.

A full brother to stakes-placed Night Nurse, Infantry is from The Nightingale, a half-sister by Stravinsky (USA) to Group winners Beat the Fade and Dawn til Dusk.

He is the fourth Derby winner for Tavistock joining Tarzino, Tavago and Werther.

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