|Things are going really swimmingly for in-form apprentice jockey Joseph See, who celebrated his recent selection to represent Singapore at an apprentice series with yet another victory on Sunday.
The Perth-trained rider flies to Korea on August 26 to ride at the 7th Asian Young Guns Challenge to be held this year in Seoul, incidentally one day before the running of the Group 3 Asia Challenge Cup (1200m), where three Singapore horses namely El Padrino, Happy Money and Valevole will also compete.
See will therefore join Team Singapore at that international weekend in Seoul, where he will ride in four races on the sand track against some of the best young jockeys from the Asia-Pacific-Africa region, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, Malaysia, Mauritius and of course the host country, Korea.
Dragon Walk (Joseph See) tears away from the rest to win Race 1 on Sunday.
See, who has been riding in great form since returning from a head injury earlier in the year, was looking forward to his first overseas experience outside of Perth where he was trained and Malaysia, and said he would try his best to do Singapore proud.
“I’m really honoured I’ve been chosen to represent Singapore at the Asian Young Guns Challenge this year,” said See who currently sits fifth on the apprentice premiership on 12 winners after his Sunday victory on the Alwin Tan-trained Dragon Walk in the $35,000 Class 5 race over 1100m, a third of runaway leader Shafiq’s score.
“I would like to thank the Singapore Turf Club and the Stewards for the opportunity. This is the first time I will ride overseas, other than Perth where I did my apprenticeship and Malaysia.
“Hopefully I get good rides, but no matter what, I will try my best for Singapore.”
First launched in 2009 at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, the Asian Young Guns Challenge was the brainchild of Victoria Racing Club in collaboration with their Asian racing counterparts, which have now grown to include jurisdictions from Africa as well. The series is primarily designed as a cultural exchange to provide young emerging jockeys in those regions a platform to pit their skills against each other and gain international exposure.
See joins seven Kranji apprentices before him to have taken part namely, Mark Ewe (2009 Melbourne, 2010 Singapore), the late Jacky Low (2009 Melbourne), Koh Teck Huat (2010 Singapore), Shafiq Rizuan (2011 Melbourne), Zawari Razali (2012 Macau), A’Isisuhairi Kasim (2013 New Zealand) and Noh Senari (2014 South Africa), with A’Isisuhairi the only one to have claimed the title.
The four races vary in distance from 1000 to 1400 metres and rides are balloted. Points are awarded in each race to all riders finishing from first through to eighth, with the jockey accruing the highest points in the four races declared the winner.
In case of a tie, the winner will be the one with the most placings.
See leaves Singapore on August 26 and will therefore miss the Kranji meetings on August 28 and 30, but he certainly did not let one of his book of six rides on Sunday go begging.
Following a smart jump from Dragon Walk ($64), See was able to secure the lead and control the pace to a nicety but their stay at the top looked in jeopardy when favourite Tim (Michael Rodd) came off his box seat to collar Dragon Walk at the 300m.
Tim even headed Dragon Walk but under See’s urgings, the latter found a second wind and gathered in his challenger to regain the lead which he did not relinquish inside the last 100m to rally home a convincing 1 ¾-length winner from Tim.
Dragon Walk’s stablemate Volkov (Saifudin Ismail) ran third another half-length away. The winning time was 1min 6.13secs.
“His form had been pretty average but he had a low weight and in a very weak field he was able to win,” said Tan.
“Joseph rated him very well in front. My other horse (Volkov) also ran well with a third place.”
Dragon Walk, a five-year-old by Mudawaajid, has now brought up his record to two wins from 37 starts for stakes earnings close to the $105,000 mark for the Green Leaf Stable.