The fourth Gold Cup for an Australian jockey will be won by Prosperous Return.
On Sunday, Ronnie Stewart will have a nearly full schedule of rides, but Prosperous Return is unquestionably the one on which he is placing the most hope.
The victor of Michael Clements' most recent race is expected to start as the favorite in the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1,400 meters at Kranji, despite the fact that stablemates Tiger Roar and Top Knight, as well as topweight Mr Malek, pose a more difficult challenge.
Stewart declared that "Prosperous Return" was definitely his best shot.
He may be competing with some of the big lads in class, but he is also strong at the weights. He has proven he is capable by doing what he did.
He got a good drawing (three), which is always helpful. He did great during his trial run for me last week.
The six-time champion sauntered in for a one-length second behind stablemate Muraahib during last Thursday's trials while maintaining a slack rein the entire time.
He exercised great control. It's difficult to say whether he has improved, but he has unquestionably kept his form," Stewart observed.
"Normally, Michael's lads take care of his gallops.
So, I really have no way of knowing how he is doing. However, based on the information I received, he performed well during the week.
Prosperous Return and Stewart connected right away during their very first coupling in a 1,400-meter Kranji Stakes B event on July 2.
After a three-month bleeding prohibition, the talented galloper owned by Tivic Stable was back in action.
Such hazardous first-up bets are typically avoided by the market, but good horses do not follow the script or the odds.
When the Fighting Sun five-year-old was released for his run at the 350m after being held in the back, he strode forward. He did become ring rusty after a while, but he fought bravely to hold off the attacks from his dead-heating stablemates Quarter Back and Spirit Of Big Bang by a neck.
First impressions are crucial, and Stewart was aware that he had done no harm to his chances of continuing on to more profitable targets.
He was only called up when Manoel Nunes, who was expected to be Prosperous Return's permanent partner this campaign, was hurt and sidelined following a terrifying racing fall in June. But the Brazilian will soon be back in the saddle.
The Australian jockey stated, "At this time, I believe I will be riding Prosperous Return in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, which is on October 15th, six weeks from now.
But first, let's wait until this Sunday to see how he performs.
If everything falls into place, Stewart might become the first jockey to win the Singapore Gold Cup four times in a row in November, shattering previous records. Tommy Farthing and Alan Trevena, both Australians, and he are now tied on three.
The Singapore Gold Cup is undoubtedly his major objective, according to Stewart.
"I won the Gold Cup with El Dorado in 2008, 2009, and 2011, and that was a different ballgame because the distance was over 2,200 meters.
"El Dorado was a well-known long-distance runner, and Hideyuki Takaoka prepared him for the race.
"Prosperous Return is unique and needs some fine-tuning. However, if he keeps moving in the same direction, he should be able to finish a strong 2,000 meters, but bleeders are unpredictable.
11 years after his last full-time contract, Stewart, 38, had a sluggish start to his new Singapore assignment. Since then, though, he has won at a regular clip.
Despite the fact that the other 10 rides weren't particularly noteworthy, he currently holds the ninth slot on 15 winners and expects to go up on Sunday.
Global Spirit won nicely for me at his most recent start, but my other rides aren't really top contenders, the rider claimed.
"Those horses with low ratings often have trouble crossing the finish line, so it's difficult to determine. But with a little luck, some of them can string together a few victories.
Billy Elliot already snubbed the opening. He merits a second look.