Iluminado took full advantage of his light weight to score his fourth Kranji win in Sunday’s $95,000 Open Benchmark 89 race over 1600m on Polytrack.
Carrying only 50kg and ridden by Subramaniam Anandan, the Argentinian-bred five-year-old by Body Glove, who landed in Singapore with a record of one win from nine starts in Argentina, finished just a shade better than the well-backed Slither (Stephen Baster) inside the last 100m to score by half-a-length with Superczar (Alan Munro) third another 1 ¼ lengths away.
Iluminado, who returned dividends of $38 for a $5 outlay, was recording his fourth win from 25 starts, incidentally his third on the alternative surface. The winning time was 1min 38.88secs.
Iluminado (Subramaniam Anandan) gets the better of Slither (Stephen Baster) in the final stages of Race 7 on Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club
Previously handled by trainer Patrick Shaw at his first campaign last year, Iluminado is now prepared by trainer Steven Burridge for whom he has already scored a win in a similar 1600m race on March 23.
Favourite Jeram Glory (Ivaldo Santana) enjoyed a soft lead up till the half-mile when Joyful Heart Man (Greg Cheyne) whipped around the outside to inject more speed into the race. With Slither the meat in the sandwich between the duelling pair, such a script could only play into the hands of a backmarker – and Iluminado duly stepped up to the plate when the pair of Jeram Glory and Joyful Heart Man fell away.
Slither was however still in with a shout as he hit the front at the top of the straight, but Iluminado was motoring home nicely as he got into the clear. In the end, Burridge’s charge just had too much momentum as he outbattled Michael Freedman’s runner in the concluding stages to get the money.
Superczar, who came with a searching run to round the corner the widest runner, let down well to run third.
“He ran fifth at his last start but probably hit the front a little too soon. He just died on his run in the end,” said Burridge.
“Today with no weight on his back, he just finished a little better. He also loves the Polytrack.
“Anandan rode him very well, too. He timed his run to perfection.
“The owner Ian Brown is from England and that should keep him happy.”
Anandan, who knocks in his fair share of winners, mainly for trainer Hideyuki Takaoka, was delighted with Iluminado’s win, his ninth for the year.
“He was always in a good spot. When the gap came, he did his best work to catch the leader,” said the Malaysian jockey.
“I think the leader may have taken off a bit too soon. He kicked back again, but it was then too late.”
With that fourth success, Iluminado has now brought his owner a tidy sum of around $235,000 in stakes money.