Racing

Duric out for the season

Four-time Singapore champion to return to Melbourne due to health concerns

After having to give up his rides again on Saturday, four-time Singapore champion jockey Vlad Duric has decided to take a racing break due to his health.

The 44-year-old Australian will take stock of his condition by year end and hopes to ride again next year.

"I've reapplied for a licence next year. I'm booked to fly back to Melbourne in December, I'll then reassess my future," he said.

Battling a series of health setbacks this year - hence his stop-and-start season - Duric was looking forward to resume riding on Saturday. But his kidney problem recurred.

It was a grim realisation that his body was telling him that it was time to rest and recuperate.

"I've been trying to get my body right, but I've realised I'm not able to start riding just yet," he said. "So I need to make sure I get my body right before I make a decision going forward.

"I had to make a call at some point, after I've had a lot of ongoing health concerns in the last six months."

This year, besides the kidneys, he has been plagued by a throat lump and a thumb injury. It was compounded further by his constant wanting to shed weight in hot and humid Singapore to make the riding weight.

After being up with the pace early and looking the part for his title defence bid, Duric has gradually slid down to fourth, on 28 winners, in the jockey's premiership table.

As a result of his prolonged absences, his hopes of a fifth consecutive title ebbed away with each passing meeting - and now dashed for good.

Prosperous Return was his 28th and last winner on Aug 22, bringing his total Kranji tally to 617 winners, including a long list in the Group races.

His first winner was Master Key for trainer Len Treloar on April 10, 2009. Roughly a third of his winners (214) came at his first stint from 2009 to 2011, during which he finished runner-up to the untouchable Joao Moreira twice (2010 and 2011).

The Caulfield Cup-winning jockey returned to Kranji in 2016 and has not looked back since.

HORSE RACING