Trust Duric to steer Al Green to vic­tory

The New Paper - - RACING - BRIAN MILLER

Com­pared to the flash and fire of Chopin’s Fan­taisie and Quechua’s dogged de­ter­mi­na­tion, AL GREEN pales in com­par­i­son.

But, to my mind, the hum­ble Class 3 gal­loper could be lead­ing jockey Vlad Duric’s best chance in to­day’s 10-race pro­gramme.

The lead­ing hoop part­ners Chopin’s Fan­taisie in Race 9 and Quechua in the Com­mit­tee’s Prize (Race 8).

Back to Al Green, the fiveyear-old needed just four “warm-up” runs be­fore break- ing the duck. And he did it with an all-the-way vic­tory over the 1,200m on grass.

Then, af­ter a five-month break, he re­turned in glory, scor­ing a hard-fought win over the 1,000m on the al­ter­nate sur­face.

Duric was on him both times and he hops on­board again. That, af­ter get­ting good vibes when tak­ing him out for a train­ing gal­lop on Wed­nes­day.

Aside from those two vic­to­ries, I thought Al Green did real well on de­but in Oc­to­ber.

That day, he tracked the pace­mak­ers all the way and looked the win­ner un­til col­lared and passed by Di­vided House in the clos­ing stages of that 1,200m sprint.

To­day, Al Green will jump from Gate 4, which is a bonus when you look at what his four most po­tent ri­vals have drawn.

Could Be Pearls will jump from 11. Gariza will oc­cupy Gate 10. Walk­ing Thun­der has drawn un­lucky 13 while Pal­trow will have to get go­ing from clos­est the BKE - in 14.

Will it make a dif­fer­ence? It just might.

brian@sph.com.sg

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