Sunday’s G1 Kranji Mile was expected to be another easy win for Spalato, unbeaten in all 8 of his Singapore starts.
But Arrowfield graduate Stepitup, who started third favourite behind Spalato & Quechua, had other ideas about how the first leg of the Singapore Triple Crown would work out.
When Pachelbel’s Canon set the pace in front, with Spalato ready to pounce behind him and Stepitup bustling along as usual at the rear, the race seemed to be unfolding as anticipated. It changed in a few seconds when Stepitup and Michael Rodd finally found a way through the wall of horses facing them at the top of the straight.
The pair hit the lead 400 metres out and put the outcome beyond doubt with a dazzling turn of foot that gave Stepitup a four-length victory – easily the biggest winning margin – among his 9 black-type wins in Singapore.
Stepitup has now won 14 of his 32 starts and taken his earnings to many times more than the $90,000 paid for him by Cliff Brown at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.
He’s one of six stakes winners sold by Arrowfield at Premier joining G1 Snitzerland, G2 Flying Snitzel & Honorine and Listed winners Smoko & Road Trippin’.
Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Stepitup is by Hussonet from the multiple stakes-winning racemare and marvellous broodmare Ain’t Seen Nothin’ (Nothin’ Leica Dane), also the dam stakes winners Ain’tnofallenstar (Starcraft) and Bachman (All American).
Ain’t Seen Nothin’ has a 3YO colt by Starcraft, a yearling sister to Bachman and last week she delivered a filly by Dundeel.
Stepitup is trained for the Tivic Stable by Laurie Laxon whose assistant Shane Ellis said: “That was probably his best run ever. It’s the first time I’ve seen him sprint like that.
“We still gave him a good chance as Spalato was third-up while he was rock-hard fit, so you never know what can happen. I told Michael to look at his races and how he must get him on the bit the whole way through.
“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.”
The Raffles Cup (1800m) on October 25 and Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) on November 15 are the remaining two legs of the Triple Crown.