There could be high fives for Duric
The in-form four-time Singapore champ has a good book of rides at Kranji tomorrow
From what was to be a “short-term” stint, beginning June 22 and running through to July 17, it became an extended stay which will now stretch until the end of Singapore’s 2022 racing season in late November.
Vlad Duric must like the racing here. Then again, why not?
Kranji has always been good to him. He, in return, has never failed to brighten up the scene with his presence.
History tells us that four times – from 2017 to 2020 – he ruled the roost. He topped the jockeys’ log as if it was his due.
Well, things have not changed much. Duric, at 44, is still doing everything right.
Then again, and like they say: “You cannot put a good man down.”
And, in this part of the world, Duric is as good as they come.
His strike rate in the few months that he has been here has shot through the roof. From his last 30 rides, it sits at around 43 per cent.
To date, Duric has ridden 15 winners from just 41 rides (36.6 per cent). Such is his fan base at Kranji that the double he pulled off last Sunday on Thunder and Boomba paid only $8 and $9 respectively.
But a win is a win.
So racegoers accepted the returns – with thanks.
The fine run should continue tomorrow, when Duric has a small but excellent book of rides.
Like it was last Sunday, when he took the opener on Thunder, he could get off to another winning start with Nate’s Champion.
Right now, the five-year-old does look like the punters’ pick and Duric in the irons will only elevate his stock.
No sooner does he hop off the Tim Fitzsimmons’ galloper that he will be legged up on another from the trainer’s yard – last-start runner-up Wan Legacy.
With just six rivals to contend with, Wan Legacy could and should give Duric an early double.
That done, he will have a chance to rest and recuperate until his next engagement in the sixth event.
It is an interesting ride, as Free Fallin’ is trained by Shane Baertschiger.
Duric does not get many rides from the Baertschiger camp.
Indeed, the last time he was legged up on one, it turned out to be a winning ride. That was on July 17 and the horse was Preditor.
Duric rode a masterful race, coming from deep midfield to score an easy victory in an exciting finish.
The ride on Free Fallin’ will be a first for Duric. Watch for some heroics.
Gold Cut, his mount in Race 9, has winning credentials. He is a speedy sort who could lead from go to whoa.
Duric won on him as recently as July 7 and the 1,000m trip is just what horse and rider will be looking for.
Fitzsimmons has got him looking as sharp as a nail and Duric rode him at trackwork on Wednesday morning.
Then, and to neatly wrap things up, Duric will be legged up on Ablest Ascend in the last of the day.
It is not a gimme. Indeed, it has been almost a year since Ablest Ascend last saluted. That was in a Class 4 affair over the 1,000m. The conditions are similar but the opposition is formidable.
Michael Clements, who trains Ablest Ascend, has a lively one in last-start winner Greatham Girl, while Ricardo Le Grange will produce Rocketship looking like a million bucks.
Then, there is Fireworks from Fitzsimmons’ yard and trainer Kuah Cheng Tee’s Last Samurai.
But Ablest Ascend will have Duric’s services and, at the rate the champ is firing, do not discount a fiery closing act from the brilliant Australian hoop.