Straight 8 for Singapore star

Karaka Premier Sale graduate Better Than Ever kept his perfect record intact with an ultra-impressive victory in the G2 Singapore 3YO Classic at Kranji on Sunday.

Better Than Ever (3g French Deputy – Songfest by Unbridled’s Song) will now attempt to make it 9 wins from 9 starts in the G1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) on May 14.

Winning jockey Saimee Jumaat was bursting with praise for the winner on Sunday night.  “He is definitely one of the best gallopers I have ridden.  He’s still a three-year-old growing up but is already a world-class horse.”

The NZ bred star is trained by Laurie Laxon for Tang Weng Fei’s Jupiter Stables.  He was an $80,000 buy from Blandford Lodge at the 2008 NZ Bloodstock Premier yearling sale after being scouted by bloodstock agent Phil Cataldo.

Otaki-based Cataldo also identified last Saturday’s Randwick Listed winner Herculian Prince (Yamanin Vital) for the Waterhouse stable.

Better Than Ever is by former Arrowfield shuttler French Deputy and is a younger half-brother to the Australian winners Zaju (Snippets), Jellicles (Tale of the Cat) and Boys Will be Boys (Hussonet).  Their dam Songfest is an unraced half-sister to Group 3 STC Kingston Town Stakes winner Swiss Echo (Don’t Say Halo).

Songfest has a 2yo gelding in training with Chris Waller named Timo’Shanter.  He is by Snitzel and failed to reach his reserve twice at Karaka last year for $100K (January) and $200K (November).

“Better Than Ever is clearly an international Group 1 horse,” Singapore handicapper Mike Wanklin said.  “But it’s hard to get a fix on his international rating.”

Better Than Ever still falls short of Rocket Man who earned a 115 rating after recording seven straight wins in his three-year-old season.  “He hasn’t met the quality that Rocket Man had raced against at the same stage,” Wanklin explained.  “But he is still one outstanding racehorse.”