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Kranji Ace will turn up for more

3 minute read

The David Kok-trained Sabah Ace secured his first win over seven furlongs in the $50,000 Class 4 race under a gun ride by jockey Vlad Duric.

SABAH ACE winning the CLASS 4
SABAH ACE winning the CLASS 4 Picture: Singapore Turf Club

It was good news for connections and fans as the son of Swiss Ace has not won after his last win nine months ago in a Class 3 race (1200m), but some Kranji racegoers were probably more concerned with news of his winning partner Duric returning to Australia on Sunday.

It was definitely not a case of bidding Kranji farewell for good but the four-time Singapore champion jockey, who hit his 700th milestone win atop Pacific Spirit for Kok last Sunday, will be commuting between Singapore and Brisbane for the rest of Kranji's racing season.

"I am going back for work tomorrow but I will come back to Singapore for some of the feature races," said Duric, who has plied his trade in Singapore since 2009.

"I will be back for the (Group 1) Kranji Mile (1600m) and the (Group 2) Singapore Guineas (1600m).

"Things are still being worked out, but I'll be based in Brisbane. I'll ride there on Saturdays but I'll also fly back for some of the Sunday meetings here."

Both the Kranji Mile and the Singapore Guineas will be run on 18 May.

Duric and Kok, who also became a trainer in his own rights in 2009, have combined for several wins in the past 15 years and Sabah Ace would unlikely be their last fruitful partnership in the remaining six months before Singapore racing draws the curtain.

After jumping from gate one, Sabah Ace stalked the two leaders, favourite Eruption (Manoel Nunes) and Wins One (Bruno Queiroz), who were locked for speed battle at the bend before being found out in the homestraight.

Eruption floundered at the 300m and Wins One barely hung on for another 100m before Sabah Ace ($12) found a second gear to sprint past him quickly. The 58kgs topweight won easily by three-and-a-quarter lengths from Wins One on the line.

Avalanche (Ryan Curatolo) motored home late to run third another one-and-a-half lengths away. The winning time for the 1400m on the Long Course was 1 min 21.83secs.

Speaking of his 701th winner in Singapore, Duric reckoned the longer trip and fast pace suited the Royal Sabah Turf Club Stable-owned gelding.

"He's better going up to the 1400m. It was perfect for us when the pair went fast in front," he said.

Kok echoed the same sentiments and now that Sabah Ace has proved himself with a win on the 1400m, the Singaporean handler was even more assured of running him in the Group 3 Silver Bowl (1400m) on 9 June and the Group 2 Stewards' Cup (1600m) on 30 June at his four-year-old campaign.

"They went crazy in front and 1400m suited him better," said Kok.

"We aim for the 4YO (Group) races, but (Group 1) (Singapore) Derby (1800) would still depend on how he runs."

Of the three feature races opened only to four-year-olds, Singapore Derby will be run three weeks after the Stewards' Cup.

Previously a four-time winner in races over 1100m and 1200m, Sabah Ace has now won five races in 12 starts and amassed closed to $170,000 for connections.

Singapore Turf Club

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