Everything goes perfectly for Hard Too Think

Having scored twice before on the Stephen Gray-trained Hard Too Think, jockey Marc Lerner's plan was to go forward in yesterday's Singapore Derby and then take a seat to save up for the run home. The rest was history.

"It just went perfect. The horse was travelling strongly and, when I shifted into another gear, he just switched on," said the Frenchman, whose other Group 1 success was the 2019 Raffles Cup with Makanani.

"He has always been a good horse and I am very happy for Stephen."

But was he worried when Big Hearted loomed up in the final 200m?

"Not really. I knew my horse has the stamina. I was pretty confident he would finish strongly to the line," he said. "The horse was improving. He had a good preparation, from winning easily in Class 4, so everything went right. "

Unlike the Raffles Cup when he returned to a rapturous crowd, it was eerily silent yesterday.

"This time, it was a different feeling, no crowd to celebrate but the emotion was still there. I was thinking of my family. I wished they could have been here."

Gray has all along pencilled Hard Too Think for November's $1 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup over 2,000m and he may go straight for that race.

"I need to think about it, because we don't have have many choices for him , so I've to take him to the Gold Cup with the lightest weight as possible and he is going to be very hard to beat under the handicap conditions," he said.