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Street of Dreams out of Raffles

Rising star abstains from G1 race, but stays the course for Kranji Mile and S’pore Derby

The Group 1 Raffles Cup will roll around next Saturday, but Singapore’s second 2023 feature race is robbed a little of its gloss with Street Of Dreams giving it a miss.

To be fair, his connections did intimate after the latest instalment of his six-in-a-row on March 4 that the $300,000 mile event did not quite fit the agenda, even if trainer Steven Burridge did not rule it out entirely.

That door left cracked open gave his fan club a sliver of hope, but they would be disappointed.

Joe Singh’s Street Of Dreams is the horse who has set pulses racing the most in the last five months.

A Maiden winner in October, the Dundeel four-year-old has skyrocketed through the ranks to suddenly stamp himself as the new drawcard in elite events, with stellar wins at the last two Kranji Stakes A events (1,400m, 1,600m).

Burridge was quick to assure that his stable star had not gone amiss, and that the decision to bypass the Raffles Cup was merely strategic.

“Joe didn’t want to keep pushing him. He was actually adamant after the last win that he was not that keen on the Raffles Cup,” said the Australian trainer.

“His wind op is something that’s always on my mind as well. So, we try not to race him too often as these things can snap again.

“I still threw his name in the entries, just in case. But I pulled him out early to give someone else the chance of getting in.

“So we’ll back him off and not run him in the Raffles Cup. There’s nothing wrong with him.

“He pulled up okay after his last run. He works every day, he worked this morning, and I was happy with his gallops.

“The next time he runs, hopefully, he’ll go bang, bang, bang again.”

The 2010 Singapore champion trainer is going with the flow when picking Street Of Dream’s next immediate races.

Burridge, whose highest acclaim is Risky Business’s 2010 Singapore Gold Cup win, however, said that he would work his programme around two races on his bucket list.

“I’ve been training in Singapore for nearly 20 years, and I’ve never won a Derby or a Kranji Mile,” said Burridge, who at 68, is the doyen of Kranji’s expatriate trainers.

“This is one of the best chances I’ve had in a long time, and I’ll keep those two races in focus. I don’t want to be too greedy.

“So, we’ll run him in the Kranji Mile in two months and we may have a look at the EW Barker, but nothing’s been set in stone.

“There’s nothing in particular. He’s done his job.”

The $1 million International Group 3, Singapore Group 1 Kranji Mile (1,600m) comes up on May 20. The Group 1 Singapore Derby (1,800m) is the third and final leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, and is due on July 23.

The Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1,400m) makes a Kranji comeback in 2023 on April 23 after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19. The handicap race is one of seven feature races reinstated by the Singapore Turf Club in 2023.

When asked if Street Of Dreams’ alternative to the Raffles Cup might be the Kranji Stakes A race over 1,200m the same day, Burridge was non-committal.

“We’ll see how he does. I’ll speak to the boss,” he said.

“This week, I’ll just make do with what I’ve got – pretty ordinary.”

Burridge has got off to anything but an ordinary start to the 2023 season. Currently third on the log with nine wins (a third supplied by Street Of Dreams), the former jockey trails lamplighter Michael Clements by five winners.

But Lim’s Craft, Lim’s Dreamwalker, Rumble, Ironchamp or My Determination are not exactly smashing chances that can bump up his haul.

“Ironchamp tries hard, but struggles towards the end. On his last run, Lim’s Dreamwalker has a chance, especially with his light weight, but he’s drawn 12. He’ll need a bit of luck,” he said.

“It’ll be tough, but a win would be a bonus. I certainly wouldn’t knock it back.”