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Vlad Duric, four clear in the jockeys’ premiership, jumps aboard Lincoln Farms’ debutant

Little spitfire Cru Bourgeois has the right fighter pilot in kill hungry Vlad Duric

You’d have to hope the Singapore commentator gets his tongue round the name Cru Bourgeois better than his trainer Stephen Gray.

That’s because, according to Gray, the debutant is a real runner who should be right in the call from the start.

And even though it’s not easy to win on debut at Kranji, the former Kiwi trainer rates him an each way chance in the fourth race on Sunday.

So too, obviously, does top jockey Vlad Duric, who chased the ride on the Burgundy four-year-old after seeing him trial a couple of weeks ago.

The significance of that is Duric is engaged in a fierce battle at the top of the jockeys’ premiership, holding a four-win lead over Michael Rodd and Olivier Placais on 67 wins.

Cru Bourgeois was ridden by apprentice Amirul Ismadi when he ran third in his sole trial on November 1, two lengths behind stablemate Rock Me Easy (who debuts on Tuesday).

“He could have won the trial,’’ says Gray of the placing, labelling the horse the most natural athlete of the four Lincoln Farms’ horses in his stable.

“He’s really quick and from a good barrier draw (five) I think he’ll run super duper.

“I don’t think he’s just a Spitfire either. He’ll mature into a pretty nice horse. He’s not a big horse, but he’s a lot bigger than he used to be and he has a really nice action.

“I’m really happy with him, he’s really healthy, and with Vlad trying to win the premiership I think he’s an each way chance.’’

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Shane Baertschiger

Shane’s comments

Friday night at Kranji

Race 4: Darci’s Boy
6.50pm NZ time

“It will be too short for him - he’s a miler - but it was the only race for him. If he can get up outside the leader, he’s a small chance but he won’t be as fresh as the other day.’’

Race 8: O’Reilly’s Dancer
8.55pm NZ time

“We’re using this as a trial because he needs the run. He doesn’t handle the polytrack and he’s coming back to 1800 metres. We went forward on him last time but we’ll ride him quieter on Friday and see if he can handle the track.’’

Race Images - Gallops

Lincoln light

News in brief

ROCK ME COUGHING: Trainer Stephen Gray didn’t pay up for Rock Me Easy to race this weekend as planned after the horse coughed a couple of times following his gallop on Tuesday. He is being treated with antibiotics and should be OK to run in three weeks.

MOONLIGHT WANES: A veterinary exam of Lincoln Moonlight failed to find anything amiss after he ran only sixth, four lengths from the winner on Friday night. The horse blundered on jumping, had to be eased off heels soon after, then was forced to race three wide throughout. Rider Matthew Kellady reported the horse raced keenly and tired noticeably in the run home.

SO LONG SAINT: Saint Lincoln will be sold to Malaysia after bleeding for the second time. The five-year-old won two of his 14 starts in Singapore for earnings of S$45,911.

MORE RAZZ: On The Razz enjoyed a roll in the sand before showing his first bit of sparkle at Kranji, running on well from last at the 300 metres to finish seventh. The 1000 metre trip was far too short for the son of Magic Albert, who is out of a Zabeel mare, but he is being fitted for a 1400 metre event in January.