Singapore’s Gold Cup and stakes increases

South African trainer Patrick Shaw won his third S$1.3m, SGroup 1 Longines Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) after Cooptado (ARG), under champion apprentice jockey-elect Shafiq Rizuan, landed the time-honoured race in a close finish over Fastnet Dragon (AUS) at Kranji on Sunday.

Shaw, who went into the race with a four stable runners, had two previous Singapore Gold Cups to his name with Mr Line in 2006 and Quechua last year. This year the Shaw’s runners finished first with Cooptado and third with Perfect P (ARG) with Quechua (ARG) and Emperor’s Banquet (AUS) in fifth and sixth place respectively.

It was the first Group 1 win for the 2011 champion apprentice jockey Shafiq Rizuan. The Mark Walker-indentured Shafiq recently outrode his claim with his 151st winner Clip The Ticket on November 1.

“This means a lot to me. It is my first Group 1 win and the Gold Cup is the biggest Group 1 race here,” said Shafiq.

The win was a true international affair with the Durban born Shaw, 59, the trainer, Malaysian born Rizuan, the jockey, Cooptado bred in Argentina and having previously raced in Argentina and Dubai with the five-year-old Equal Stripes gelding owned by Russians Evgeny Kappushev and Valentin Bukhtoyarov of Red Stable.

In other news from Kranji the Singapore Turf Club recently announced that 91 race meetings have been scheduled for the 2016 Singapore racing season, a reduction of four meetings. This was done to provide the racing fraternity, especially the stable staff, with more breaks and rest during the season.

The Club also announced that the prizemoney of five feature races will be increased with effect from 2016 as follows:

Race Present Prizemoney New Prizemoney
.1 Lion City Cup $500,000 $800,000
.2 Kranji Mile $500,000 $700,000
.3 Raffles Cup $500,000 $700,000
.4 Queen Elizabeth II Cup $350,000 $500,000 Upgraded to Singapore Group 1
.5 Merlion Trophy $200,000 $350,000 Upgraded to Singapore Group 2

The Queen Elizabeth II Cup will now be run in the beginning of June instead of in late April while the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe will be held on the Friday evening leading up to the Singapore Derby in July instead of in May.