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

Stephen Gray

Stephen’s comments

Sunday at Kranji

Race 7: Miracle Time
9.05pm NZ time

“He’s had minor throat surgery for a displaced palate and he trialled really well the other day (when third). He gets a 2kg claim with Simon Kok, has a good draw, and I think he’ll run really well.”

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