Former New Zealand mare Makkura maintained her good record in Singapore when successful in the $75,000 Open Benchmark 74 Stakes over 1100m on the Polytrack on Sunday.
In the race restricted to fillies and mares, Makkura, ridden by Greg Cheyne, scored a short-head victory over Country Club (Wong Wei Xiang) with Teen Angel (Zuriman Zulkifli) a length-and-three-quarters away third.
Makkura was one of the first to begin and went forward to lead the way from Sarong (Saifudin Ismail) and Moon’s Fairy (Koh Teck Huat).
Country Club (Wong Wei Xiang) closes fast but odds-on favourite Makkura prevails narrowly, picture Singapore Turf Club
Turning for home Makkura kicked clear and looked set for a comfortable victory until out of the chasing packed emerged Country Club who was gaining with every stride.
But the post arrived in time for the backers of the $7 favourite.
Trainer John O’Hara said he had picked out the race for Makkura following her last start third on August 3.
Following victories over Terminator and Good Buddy at her first two starts in Singapore, Makkura covered ground when a last start third behind the smart galloper El Padrino.
“We were waiting for this race as we thought it would be ideal for her racing against her own sex,” said O’Hara.
“She was disadvantage at the weights a bit today as the second horse is very smart and had the young rider on board taking a claim.
“But my mare has done a good job today and her record since coming here has been very good.
“Her last start when third was good as it was quite a tough race and she had to cover some ground, but she came through it well and this was the race we were after.
“We don’t have any major plans for her. We’ll just keep finding suitable races and if one of these races comes around again then that would be great.”
Cheyne said the blinkers almost brought about the downfall of Makkura.
“She’s in front all the way but gets to the 100m and she thinks her job is done,” said Cheyne.
“When the other horse got to her past the post she rallied again. She needs something to come at her and then she fights again.
“She’s a very talented filly who continued to improve. It was a good run last time behind a very smart horse and in her right race can keep winning.”
Makkura came up from New Zealand as the winner of one race and has recorded three wins and a third in her four starts in Singapore.
A Five-year-old by Falkirk from the Centaine mare Electric Dream, Makkura took her prizemoney past the $100,000 mark for Toast Trust No 27 Stable and Stephen Crutchley following Sunday’s success.