1 September 2017

Damian Browne approached for Elite Excalibur ride

Trainer Cliff Brown has again called upon fellow Australian jockey Damian Browne for a big race ride next weekend.

The Brisbane-based Al Quoz Sprint-winning jockey (Buffering in 2016) will be at his third pitstop visit for Brown at Kranji.

He first rode Flight Ofthe Saker in the 2014 Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) in which they finished unplaced, before returning three years later last June, faring much better with a second place aboard Laughing Gravy in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1800m).

This time, Browne has been approached for the ride aboard Brown’s Elite Excalibur in the $200,000 Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) on September 10. The application will be of course subject to the approval of the Singapore Turf Club.

Elite Excalibur, known as River Wild in Sydney where he won three races for Gai Waterhouse, boasts two wins at Kranji, one for previous trainer Steven Burridge and one for Brown at his very first outing for his new handler since his failed campaign in Dubai earlier in the year.

The Fastnet Rock five-year-old last raced in the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) when he did not reproduce his sizzling second to Alibi in the previous Leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, the Group 1 Patron’s Bowl (1600m) to finish down the field (seventh).

“I’m looking to get Damian to ride Elite Excalibur. At this stage, it is yet to be approved by the licensing committee,” said Brown.

“Elite Excalibur ran okay in the Derby. He did not have many options from the wide barrier (14).

“He’s come back in good shape and trialled very well this morning (August 31 with Michael Rodd up). It was just a nice quiet trial at the back, which I was very pleased with.

“In saying this, the Jumbo Jet Trophy is a very strong race this year and I can hope he runs well, along with Debt Collector.”

Brown’s Singapore Horse of the Year will also make his comeback in the same race. He trialled on Tuesday, running in his usual get-back fashion to beat one home, more than 11 lengths off the winner Super Winner.

With Rodd sticking with Debt Collector in spite of his last three defeats, and most of the other leading jockeys already committed to other rides, Brown had to look elsewhere for a jockey on Elite Excalibur.

“The horse is in good order and I hope I can get Damian to ride him. He’s a very good jockey,” said Brown.