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Dream run not about to end

Street Of Dreams chalks up sixth consecutive win, but bigger targets are next up his alley

The sticky ground and the extra 3kg were seen as the only two stumbling blocks that could bring Street Of Dreams undone in the $100,000 Kranji Stakes A race over the mile on Saturday.

They were mere kinks in the end. But trainer Steven Burridge’s rising star still had to pull a gut-busting run to find the line for a sixth consecutive time.

Plan A had gone to script with the son of Dundeel slotting into his customary stalking role not far off the lead, but jockey Ronnie Stewart knew he was not in for an armchair ride this time when he gave the $8 favourite a first squeeze.

Unlike the swagger with which he laid waste to a similar Kranji Stakes A capacity field (16 runners) at his last start on Feb 12 – but with only 50.5kg on his back and over 1,400m – Street Of Dreams was taking a month of Sundays to draw on level terms with race leader Hongkong Great (Vlad Duric).

Making matters worse was the unlikely meat in the sandwich that was longshot Circuit Mission (Wong Chin Chuen) splitting the two fancies down the middle.

A three-cornered fight made it anyone’s race for a few strides. Neither of the trio would give each other an inch.

But cream rose to the top. Under the stick, Joe Singh’s valiant galloper savaged the line with renewed vigour to get up by ½-length from Hongkong Great, with Circuit Mission third another ¾-length away.

After a dismal first-up run, Hongkong Great has won back his admirers from the way he overcame barrier No. 15 to roll forward and burn the candle at both ends. Had the Singapore Gold Cup winner swopped gates with Street Of Dreams (2), the result might have been different.

Street Of Dreams’ sixth win may not have been as breathtaking, but to Burridge, the real feat was the slick 1min 33.33sec clocked for the mile on the long course, only 0.08sec outside Lim’s Lightning’s record set in the 2022 Kranji Mile.

“He’s done a good job to win six straight,” said the Australian, who has always preached caution over the gelding’s tie-back operation.

“The weight wasn’t a concern, but maybe the going was against him. It didn’t suit him previously.

“But you can only go there and win. We would like to win by four or five lengths all the time, but then, he goes up by eight points.”

While the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, which kicks off in June, has been earmarked from a long way out, his soaring ratings have suddenly made two marquee races jump out of the calendar.

Between the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1,600m) on March 25 and Group 1 Kranji Mile (1,600m) on May 20, Burridge is keener on the latter.

“No decision yet about the Raffles Cup. It’s up in the air,” he said.

“We’ll see how he pulls up, but the Kranji Mile is definitely a race for him – before the Derby.”

With Stewart proving a super “saddle warmer” for Manoel Nunes at the last two starts – Nunes was unable to ride at 50.5kg the first time and he was suspended on Saturday – an intriguing subplot about who takes the reins next will be the hot talking point.

Will the Brazilian claim his ride back or will connections switch allegiance? After all, they say you are only as good as your last win.

Burridge diplomatically skirted the issue when asked.

“I have no idea who will ride him next. It’s up to the owners – I’m just the guy who trains him,” he said.

The 2010 Singapore champion trainer has not made it a secret that Street Of Dreams might be the best horse he has put the bridle on.

In his heyday, the former jockey had smart sorts like Risky Business, King And King, Wild Geese and Mr Malek, more recently.

Street Of Dreams seems to have that X-factor they lacked, though, but Burridge will still not put all his eggs in one basket.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had a good horse like this one,” he said.

“But I’ve also got only 20 horses and plenty of empty boxes. You can’t count on only 20 horses, you’re just surviving.

“Most of time, it’s a lull until you hit the jackpot with a horse like Street Of Dreams. New horses are still welcome to join.”

Burridge may helm a small team, but it was the A-team on Saturday. Street Cry Success ($32) and Seson ($83) rounded out his day with a treble and propelled him to second place on the log on nine winners, only one off Michael Clements.

Saturday's Singapore Results:  PDF iconsgres05.pdf