Racing

Slow and steady wins the race

Trainer Cliff Brown says Certainly has got only a short but great sprint

To err is only human, and jockey Michael Rodd was the first to admit he was not entirely foolproof after CERTAINLY blew away his rivals in the $60,000 Class 4 race over 1,800m at Kranji on Sunday.

The Australian rider took a bit of stick at the Cliff Brown-trained gelding's last start when fourth to Mongolian Chief. He recognised he might have pulled the trigger too soon because Certainly could not get on with it after he hit the front in a 1,700m race a month ago.

With the benefit of hindsight, things can only improve if the same mistake is not repeated - and that is exactly how it panned out this time.

Rodd and Certainly showed they were in no hurry to take part in the early speed battle when they dropped to ninth while Glorious Prospect (Barend Vorster) was pressing hard on the outside to dictate terms.

The complexion of the race did not change much until Duke Of Normandy (Vlad Duric) speared over from the rear to try and inject more speed into the race from the 700m mark.

Certainly, a $35 chance, was starting to inch forward a touch at the time, but Rodd wisely decided against tagging along when Duke Of Normandy whipped around them, preferring to stay in his slipstream.

Upon straightening, Duke Of Normandy tried to keep up the same tempo, but it soon became clear he had already emptied out.

That was the moment Rodd chose to finally go for the shillelagh. Peeling Certainly to the outside, he went for broke inside the last 250m, and the Auric Stable-owned galloper exploded away to put a big space on the rest.

Though that inclination to switch off was again apparent, the break he took was too commanding for anything from behind to cut back.

Longshot Precious Gem (Manoel Nunes) did charge home late but it was too little too late as he took second spot, one-and-a-quarter lengths behind.

Certainly's less fancied stablemate Tales Of Summer (Alan Munro) acquitted himself well with a third place, a neck away.

You have to be as quiet as you can on him and you have to wait as long as you can. He's a genuine racehorse.Trainer Cliff Brown, on Certainly

The winning time was 1min 46.95sec for the 1,800m on the long course.

"He's a tricky horse. At his last start, it was all my fault," said Rodd.

"I went too early and, as soon as he got there, he pulled up on me. Today, I was told to wait for as long as I could.

"He got a good cart-up and he showed a great turn of foot. He was too strong for them today, and I think we can squeeze him to 2,000m.

"He has learned to relax better now. He is behaving more like a proper thoroughbred."

Brown said that Certainly, a four-year-old by Nadeem, has been a profitable commodity for his owner, Jerry Sung of Auric Stable.

"He cost only A$80,000 (S$86,500) and has already won more than $200,000 for Jerry. It's great," said the Australian handler.

"He's got only a short sprint over a furlong (200m), but it's a great sprint. You have to be as quiet as you can on him and you have to wait as long as you can.

"He's a genuine racehorse and, on that run, he would get 2,000m, I would imagine. Up close, he's a sprinter, but he has staying genes on his third dam side."