Exciting Celavi leaves rivals reeling again

As widely expected, $7 favourite Celavi did not let her backers down with an authoritative win from barrier to box in the last race on Friday night at Kranji.

The speedy three-year-old filly by Fighting Sun shot out straight as a die from her middle draw to easily take up her customary leading role in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1100m.

It was a carbon-copy of her last-start win in a 1000m speed scamper in similar company three weeks ago. Break her rivals’ hearts with her high cruising speed and just keep rolling to the line without giving them a look-in.

Celavi (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) makes it back-to-back wins on Friday night, picture Singapore Turf Club

First Chief (Marc Lerner) was the one who came the closest to unsettling her in the home straight. The former Group 3 placegetter in Melbourne when known as Cao Cao came chipping away at the margin, but Celavi was simply too good.

A gap of two-and-a-quarter lengths split them with Lee Freedman’s much-vaunted debutant Sun Chess (Patrick Moloney) unable to beat his horror gate throughout the trip when caught four wide without cover, but who still put up a brave display to finish third another head away.

Celavi clocked a smart time of 1min 4.67secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack, 0.7 second outside the record established by Autumn Assault last year.

With that 21st win, trainer Michael Clements has now taken an outright lead on reigning champion Mark Walker (who came home empty-handed) after the two were tied going into Friday’s meeting on 20 winners, but with Clements ahead on a countback for seconds.

Clements being absent, it was assistant-trainer Michael White who did the honours at the winner’s enclosure, heaping praise on the filly even if he cautioned not to get too carried away.

“She is slowly but surely coming to her best. She’s showing more maturity, but there is still a long way to go,” said White.

“It’s probably a blessing in disguise we’ll have fewer racing next month (new COVID-19 measure in line with the Ministry of Health’s tighter guidelines to combat the epidemic). We’ll have more time to look after her.

“But tonight, she showed she could relax better. She will get 1400m one day.”

Beuzelin is one who has certainly taken a shine to Celavi, and it’s got nothing to do with the fact that her name phonetically refers to the iconic French phrase “c’est la vie” or “that’s life”.

The English-trained French-Bajan jockey has been her partner from Day 1, having now combined with her for three wins and one third from five starts for prizemoney that has now reached just a tick under the $100,000 mark for the Celavi Stable.

“This is all about the work we do in the morning with this filly. It’s all paying off now,” he said.

“She has speed to burn and a high cruising speed, but the noseband has helped her relax better. She also uses her hindquarters more effectively now.

“She was able to take a breather just before the home turn, and when I asked her to go, she drew clear again.

“There’s still room for improvement. She will get better and better with more racing, and I can’t wait to be part of that.”