On Line now crying for 1,600m
Michael Clements-trained consistent 4YO gets up to pip Gentlemen Agreement by a nose over 1,400m
In a heart-in-mouth moment, three-time Singapore champion Vlad Duric snared a last-stride win aboard $8 favourite On Line in Race 8 at Kranji yesterday to erase two unlucky defeats in the preceding two events.
The Australian encountered heavy traffic when second on Trafalgar and Bear Witness in Races 6 and 7 respectively and looked headed for another runner-up spot with On Line.
But his vigorous riding got the Michael Clements-trained four-year-old up to beat the Shane Baertschiger-trained Gentlemen Agreement by a mere nose in the $50,000 Class 4 Div 1 event over 1,400m.
Both Clements and Duric conceded that On Line clearly needs a longer trip now.
Clements, last year's runner-up in the Singapore trainers' premiership, felt that, being by O'Reilly, On Line was "obviously looking for a bit further".
"He certainly showed that again today. He's finding the line well," he said.
"Look, I think he's a horse with a bright future. With his pedigree, he definitely wants a bit further. We'll probably step him up to probably 1,600m next time."
Duric, who also took Race 4 on the Baertschiger-trained Rise Of Empire, suggested 1,600m for On Line as well.
"I think he's crying out for a mile, so I think that's where he'll head next time," he said.
Duric kept On Line midfield, as Thunder Dragon and Resolution fought for the lead. Gentlemen Agreement, who tracked them, hit the front 200m out and looked poised for victory.
But Duric persevered and brought On Line up to put his head down where it mattered most. He knew he won.
"I thought I got there, to be honest. Obviously, it was very tight in the end. My horse was attacking the line very well, so I was pretty confident I got up on top of the other horse," he said.
"But, with a furlong to go, I was as nervous as anyone else."
On Line has now had seven starts for three wins and three seconds, amassing prize money of about $130,000 for Falcon Racing No. 7 Stable.