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Fulife King scores in a thriller
Michael Lee

Fulife King repelled all comers to score a hard-fought win in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1000m on Friday night.

An easy last-start winner in Class 4 company over the same 1000m speed dash, the Written Tycoon three-year-old looked all poised to despatch his 10 rivals as he pleased when champion jockey Vlad Duric popped him off his box-seat at the top of the straight.

But the impression was deceptive. With two tough opponents to contend with, he had to pull out all the stops to master them before he could hold sway for the two-in-a-row.

Fulife King (Vlad Duric, No 5) holds off the fast-closing Nova Vocal (Michael Rodd, No 3) by a nose in
the Class 3 race.

After setting a steady pace to the race, Lonhro Gold (Zyrul Nor Azman) did not buckle when Fulife King ($14) slid upsides while Nova Vocal (Michael Rodd) was rattling home on the outside.

A minor placing was looking like the best outcome for trainer Mark Walker’s Fulife King from that epic struggle, but with Duric riding with renewed vigour, the Elite Performance Stable-owned gelding picked himself off the canvas to poke his nose in front where it mattered.

Nova Vocal, who probably peaked on his run, hung on for dear life to take second place, half-a-length ahead of a gallant Lonhro Gold. Fulife King clocked 58.86 seconds for the 1000m on the all-weather track.

The previous two-time Australian winner (when known as King) has seen his stakes earnings edge closer to the $100,000 mark thanks to a handy record that now stands at two wins, two seconds and one third from six starts.

“It was a very gutsy win. It was a good ride and a great run,” said Walker.

Duric duly gave the Kiwi trainer credit for both the conditioning and placing of his 40th winner for the 2019 season. The Australian two-time Singapore champion jockey is well clear in this year’s premiership, 13 clear of Michael Rodd, who claimed the opener, a $30,000 Class 5 Division 1 race over 1200m aboard $12 favourite One World for trainer David Kok.

“The other horse (Nova Vocal) was in front by a neck, but he died on his run, and my horse got up,” said Duric.

“He’s a very determined little galloper. He tries very hard and he’s been well placed by Mark.

“But he’s only a little horse, and I think at his next start, he will need a claimer and they will probably put (Walker’s apprentice jockey) Riduan (Abu Bakar) on.”