Street Of Dreams extended his winning streak to four after the Steven Burridge-trained budding star held off all challengers resolutely in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1200m on Saturday.
The margin might have been only half-a-length but given the step up in grade and the sheer quality of the opposition, it was what connections would have hoped for at the start of a seemingly big year for the Joe Giovanni-owned four-year-old gelding.
Sent out as the $8 short-priced favourite on the back of three consecutive wins previously and a slick winning trial on January 5, Street Of Dreams jumped on terms with the field from the inside gate but jockey Manoel Nunes was happy to let second-favourite ($22) Silent Is Gold (Ronnie Stewart) cross from the widest gate and take up the running into the first bend.
Though Nunes was happy to watch Silent Is Gold lead early, he also ensured that his mount had a trouble-free path in the running. When Gold Ten Sixty-One (Wong Chin Chuen) tried to box him in on the turn, the Brazilian ace pushed forward with Street Of Dreams to sit on the leader’s flank at the 500m.
That looked the winning move given he eyeballed Silent Is Gold early in the straight with the two fancied runners kicking clear at the 300m. A two-horse battle to the wire looked on the cards, before Street Of Dreams got the better of the duel and looked home and hosed at the 200m.
Even if Street Of Dreams did not look in too much trouble late, Nunes had to keep busy to hold off the promising Gold Ten Sixty-One to the line by half-a-length with the fast-finishing Vgor (Koh Teck Huat) a short head away in third.
The gallant Silent Is Gold – who had used up plenty of petrol from the wide gate early – was another nose away in fourth and the winning time was 1 min 11.22secs for the six furlongs on the Polytrack.
Burridge was more relieved than happy after the win, especially given the pre-race expectations and the race circumstances.
“He (Nunes) probably had him a little closer today,” explained Burridge to racing presenter Pat Comerford after the win.
“But if he didn’t push out before the turn, he might have gotten hemmed in. The grey horse (Gold Ten Sixty-One) moved off the fence, so he went up front.
“He probably hit the front a little too far from home but when it’s all said and done – as far as his condition is concerned – hopefully he pulls up good and we go on from here.”
Burridge – who has Street Of Dreams on the path towards the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) – has options but was keen to get him over more ground and with less weight at his next start.
“We will probably go to a Kranji (Stakes) A (race). There is a 1400m (race in) Class 3 but he’s probably going to get 59kgs in that, which makes it a bit hard with the weight,” he continued.
“So we might go to the Kranji (Stakes) A – I think that’s in about four weeks (over 1400m on February 12) – and from there, we will go on to a mile race.
“The main thing is he got (this race) over and done with. It’s onwards and upwards from here and hopefully, we can move into a better class with a lighter weight next time.”
Street Of Dreams was only one of five winners for Nunes on Saturday but definitely his best.
“Steven and his team have done a great job with him,” said Nunes.
“He was a bit fresh today; raring to go. From the barrier (one), it was a bit tricky to ride him.
“But I rode him like I was on the best horse, so I just put him there. He’s very straightforward. He puts himself there and he got the job done.
“He’s definitely looking for more ground, I’d say 1400m or 1600m maybe next time. I will talk to Steven to see where he goes.
“He’s a lovely horse and on the grass as well. He will be a nice horse for the Four-Year-Old series.”
The Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge series, which was brought back this year after being scrapped in 2021, consists of three legs which are made up of the Group 3 Silver Bowl (1400m) on June 11, the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) on July 2, and the Singapore Derby on July 23 respectively.
Street Of Dreams’ fourth win from eight starts took his prizemoney earnings to a shade over $120,000 for connections.
Larry Foley (@kranjiracing), 14/01/2023