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By Singapore Turf Club (Michael Lee) | Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Will New Year’s Day spark up the same winning flair in Constant Justice?

That is a question his new handler Cliff Brown wouldn’t hazard a guess to, but one to which he would certainly hope the answer is yes.

The 2019 New Year Cup winner has not won a race in four starts since that Polytrack feature success under Glen Boss when he was then prepared by trainer Mohd Yusof.

Brown has now taken over the lightly-raced Lucky Stable-owned Magnus seven-year-old, along with the immediate responsibility of ensuring his title defence in the traditional season opener, the $175,000 Group 3 New Year Cup (1200m).

Back-to-back wins would be great – no horse has done this since its inception in 2011 when it was then run as a 1900m race until 2017 - but the Australian would rather take that first outing more as a gauge of the gelding’s current form and fitness.

“To be honest, I can’t tell you much about Constant Justice. He came to us in good shape back in September and I just gave him a break,” he said.

“I would have preferred to give him a decent barrier trial, but because the track was closed (for resurfacing), he will now go into the race a little underdone.

“He’s an old horse, but credit to him as he’s done everything right since he’s come back to work. We’ve targeted the New Year Cup as his comeback race.
“I know he won that race last year, but the weights are different this time. He will carry a big weight.”

Currently on 99 points, the seven-time winner sits fourth on the order of entries with Distinctive Darci topping the list on 103 points. He carried only 52kgs at his New Year Cup victory last year.

“We’re still learning about him. That race will tell us where he is at,” said Brown who has never won the New Year Cup.

“Michael Rodd will ride him. He gets back from Australia in time for that ride.”

Brown had handy mare Filibuster in the New Year Cup mix as well, but at 76 points, the Ilovethiscity five-year-old could not make the cut, and will subsequently run in the Class 3 race over 1200m instead.

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