Sports

Gray on the double

Trainer Stephen Gray's perseverance was richly rewarded as he returned to the winner's circle with a winning double on Friday, capped by an impressive victory for BORN TO FLY in the $125,000 Kranji Stakes A race over 1,400m.

It had been a bleak March for the New Zealander, who came up empty-handed on a number of occasions but he refused to be disheartened and finally had cause to celebrate as he picked up his first winner since Feb 23.

He also showed similar patience in his preparation of Born To Fly, who was second-up after returning from a four-month spell when he ran fifth in a Kranji Stakes A over 1,400m at the end of last month.

"I sent him for a little break and he's come on well after running in the (Longines) Singapore Gold Cup (in November). He was ready to go six weeks ago but we wanted to wait for the rain," said Gray, who also won with MR MAGNUS (Ivaldo Santana) in Race 3.

"The Polytrack was dry and the hard track really didn't suit him. His owners were very understanding and left it up to me when I told them to be patient and wait until the rain came and the tracks were softened."

With the recent dry spell in Singapore having been broken by regular showers across the island, the waiting game paid off handsomely, as the Australian-bred gelding, with Lisa Allpress aboard, clocked 1min 22.4sec on the long course to beat Savannah Dancer (Manoel Nunes) by two lengths.

Winless for 420 days, it was Born To Fly's seventh victory from 45 starts. The Mossman six-year-old has brought his stakes earnings to slightly over $500,000 for his connections.