05/14/2010 12:00AM

World Cup's top pair rematched in Singapore


The big money that is always on the line in Asia has attracted three sterling fields in Singapore and Japan on Sunday, the best of them at Kranji Racecourse, where Gloria de Campeao and Lizard's Desire, the first two finishers in the Dubai World Cup, square off against the surprise winner of the Dubai Duty Free Al Shemali in the $2.1 million Singapore Airlines International Cup.

Trained by Pascal Bary, the Brazilian-bred and -owned Gloria de Campeao is the defending titleholder in this 1 1/4-mile Group 1 turf race. Last year, he held off the late challenge of Presvis by a head. Presvis was an unlucky 11th in the Dubai Duty Free from an impossibly wide draw, and has since been a close fifth behind Viva Pataca in the 1 1/4-mile Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin. Presvis, trained by Luca Cumani, tries Gloria de Campeao again on Sunday but has drawn unfavorably wide in post 10.

The Mike de Kock-trained Lizard's Desire missed by a desperate nose in the World Cup and was second by a neck in the QEII Cup. He is capable of winning a Group 1 race and this could be the one.

Al Shemali, who was sent off at 145-1 in the Dubai Duty Free, is not without his chances. He has some back-class as the third-place finisher in the Group 2 Dante Stakes in 2007 behind subsequent Epsom Derby winner Motivator.

E.P. Taylor winner Lahaleeb was sixth in the Duty Free, while Shadow Gate, the best of the four Japanese raiders, will try and take them all the way from the rail.

* Victimized by a trouble-filled ride from Robert Fradd when second by a half-length to Kinsale King in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, Rocket Man and his rider made amends next time by zipping to a 2 1/4-length victory in the six-furlong Lion City Cup on April 24 at Kranji. Rocket Man will returns to the same course and distance as the hot favorite in the Group 1, $723,000 KrisFlyer International Sprint.

Fradd will be in the saddle again when Rocket Man faces two dangerous Hong Kong sprinters in Al Quoz Sprint winner Joy and Fun and Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup winner Happy Zero.

* The two best older females in Japan, Buena Vista and Red Desire, go head-to-head for the fourth time in the $1.9 million Victoria Mile. Both are dropping in distance since returning from Dubai, where Buena Vista was an unlucky second to Dar Re Mi in the 1 1/2-mile Dubai Sheema Classic, and Red Desire was 11th in the Dubai World Cup after having beaten Gloria de Campeao in Round 3 of the Maktoum Challenge. The last time they met at this distance, Buena Vista prevailed by a half-length in the Japanese 1000 Guineas.