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The $1 million KrisFlyer International Sprint made a much-awaited comeback to the Singapore Racecourse in 2008 after a six-year hiatus.
In 2001, the race, previously known as the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Sprint, was launched as the sprint “spin-off” of the Singapore Airlines International Cup for three-year-olds and upwards. The 1200m race did not fail to provide racing enthusiasts with thrilling results in the two editions staged.
Iron Mask, the French three-year-old speed machine from the famous Criquette Head yard, defeated local hope Trillion Win to become the inaugural winner. The next year Australia’s North Boy set the bar even higher by trouncing his opponents in record time.
Upon the return of the revamped race in 2008, Australasian breeding continued to dominate the race, albeit through products representing various countries. Australia picked up where it left off when legendary sprinter Takeover Target won the 2008 edition, followed by Hong Kong (twice) with New Zealand-bred Green Birdie taking out the 2010 edition when it was first afforded International Group 1 status.
The race obtained further recognition when it became part of the Global Sprint Challenge in 2011, which was also the year when local superstar Rocket Man became the first locally-trained sprinter to capture the event after seconds in the previous two editions, firstly behind Sacred Kingdom in 2009 and then Green Birdie.
Hong Kong’s sprinting wonder Lucky Nine made history by becoming the first horse to add his name to the KrisFlyer twice, scoring back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014. While Lucky Nine gave the Caspar Fownes-Brett Prebble combination a running double in the sprint feature, they were actually both at their third hurrah, as Fownes and Prebble also boast individual wins with Green Birdie and Sacred Kingdom respectively.