Pencarrow-Bred Wins Singapore Feature

Pencarrow Stud-bred Big Maverick (NZ) has won the last feature race of the Singapore season, the $S200,000 Group 3 Stewards’ Cup.
at Kranji racecourse.

Top Kiwi trainer Laurie Laxon prepared longshot Big Maverick at odds of $231, defeating Juvenile Championship winner Onceuponatime by a short head.

“To be honest I did actually think he had a good chance but I must say that the favourite (Onceuponatime) was unlucky to be held up on the fence,” said Laxon who has now chalked up Group win No 11 for another successful year at Kranji.

“He’s been a bit unlucky at his last races, a little tardy at the gates as well,” he added of the horse he bought for NZ$87,500 from Peter and Philip Vela of Pencarrow Stud.

“But I really liked the way he won at debut, and that ability showed in his win today.”

Indeed, the New Zealand-bred by top sire O’Reilly showed a lot of pluck in his winning style as he was trapped four wide under jockey Sam Subian for most of the 1400m trip.

Turning for home, all eyes were anxiously levelled on Onceuponatime as he looked desperately boxed in on the fence, after overcoming some buffeting when Huat Chai (Erasmus Aslam) slammed into him.

Right in the middle a horse with a white face (Big Maverick) was conspicuously making inroads, but most thought he would be put in the shade once jockey Ronnie Stewart managed to extricate Onceuponatime from his precarious spot.

Backers of the favourite thought they could queue up at the tote windows when Onceuponatime powered between Cristoforo (John Sundradas) and Big Maverick, but he peaked on his run and Big Maverick stuck his neck right out on the line.

“The second horse (Onceuponatime) did get in front of me at one stage but mine just kept on giving,” said a delighted Sam.