Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
The well-named Surpass Natural keeps answering in the best possible way whenever the bar is raised to make it a fantastic four-from-four on Sunday.
Stepping up in class in the $70,000 Class 3 Division 1 race over 1200m on Polytrack, the Elvstroem four-year-old, whose last win came in a Class 4 race over 1200m 1 ½ months ago, again came out tops.
Regular partner John Powell, who knows him back to front, was again instrumental in keeping the unblemished run going.
After a smart jump from a middle draw, the Australian jockey was happy to post Surpass Natural outside leader Unconquered (Michael Rodd).
The pair matched motors from that point onwards, and well into the straight where Unconquered proved to be no pushover when the odds-on favourite ($6) laid down the law.
For about 150m, the Graeme Rogerson-owned I Am Invincible held his own against Surpass Natural, but once the latter “surpassed” himself, resistance was futile.
The winning margin was 1 ¼ lengths with Robin Hood (Marc Lerner), who was three wide the whole way, staying on doggedly for third place another head away. The winning time was 1min 11.32secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.
“John has been riding this horse from Day 1 and knows him well. I’m glad he rode him as he was also booked on Muraahib (who also won), but luckily, the two Class 3 races were split, and he got to ride both horses (and won on both),” said winning trainer Leticia Dragon.
“John was able to give the horse a breather midrace. We’ve kept him fresh for this race.
“We’ve been thinking about putting the blinkers on, but we went with none in the end. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Dragon had indeed been dithering all week about whether to apply a set of blinkers on Surpass Natural for Sunday’s race. She was glad she held the gear over in the end, even if from Powell’s post-race feedback, it is a matter of time before the shades are slapped on.
“He pulled in the middle stages, but another furlong later, he came back nicely underneath me,” said the experienced Australian jockey.
“He then dropped the bridle, and I had to give him a slap-up. It was a good effort to make it four in a row, it’s never easy to do that.
“Like I said before, he likes to play the fool at times. We tried the blinkers on in a trial and he went too hard.
“He’s got the ring bit now and he tends to charge off. I told Leticia to leave the blinkers out for now, but we’ll have to put them on at the right time.”
Unbeaten in four starts, Surpass Natural has seen his account bulge past the $130,000 mark in stakes money for the Sky Eye Stable.