05/16/2010 12:00AM

Lizard's Desire turns tables on Gloria de Campeao


Lizard's Desire turned the tables on Gloria de Campeao at Kranji Racecourse on Sunday as he rallied to defeat his Dubai World Cup conqueror by a half-length in the Group 1, $2.1 million Singapore Airlines International Cup.

Gloria de Campeao had barely held off Lizard's Desire by the smallest of noses in the $10 million World Cup on a Tapeta surface. The result Sunday on turf was similar but a strong ride from Kevin Shea on the winner reversed the order of finish.

Dubai form came to the fore as Al Shemali, the wild longshot who had captured the Dubai Duty Free, came home third in the 1 1/4-mile Cup, 1 3/4 lengths behind the runner-up. The unlucky Presvis, well behind early on as usual, could manage only fifth, beaten six lengths after losing a shoe.

The winning time for the 3-1 Lizard's Desire was 2:02.12 on a yielding surface.

Gloria de Campeao raced in second for much of the way until he took the lead at the quarter pole. The South African-bred Lizard's Desire, who had finished a hard-luck second to Viva Pataca in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin since the World Cup, has a world of options, according to his trainer Mike de Kock, who sees him eventually as a Melbourne Cup horse.

* Rocket Man was beaten late in the Group 1, $723,000 KrisFlyer International Sprint for the second year in a row. Most recently second to Kinsale King in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, Rocket Man was beaten a head by Hong Kong invader Green Birdie, a 14-1 shot who covered the one-turn six furlongs in 1:09.62 for trainer Casper Fownes with Mark du Plessis aboard.

Hong Kong's recent Queen's Jubilee Silver Cup winner Happy Zero was third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Rocket Man, but Al Quoz Sprint winner Joy and Fun could manage only sixth.

Jockey Robbie Fradd blamed the softish ground for Rocket Man's defeat, and even complained about the "length of the grass." Trainer Patrick Shaw has now nixed a trip to Royal Ascot for Rocket Man.

* Buena Vista confirmed her status as Japan's best older filly or mare at Tokyo on Sunday as she won the Grade 1, $1.9 million Victoria Mile by a half-length from 45-1 longshot Hikaru Amaranthus.

The versatile 4-year-old Buena Vista, trained by Hiroyoshi Matsuda, rallied from 14th in the 18-runner field, getting the mile on firm ground in 1:32.40 after a nine-minute delay at the start when eventual eighth-place finisher Bravo Daisy had to have a shoe replaced.

The winner last year of both the one-mile Japanese 1000 Guineas and the 1 1/2-mile Japanese Oaks, the 1-2 Buena Vista had most recently been an unlucky second to Dar Re Mi in the Dubai Sheema Classic. Red Desire, sent off as the 9-2 second choice, was beaten just 1 1/4 lengths in finishing fifth.