Azhar Ismail (MAL) – SIA Cup: Fatkid
Hall of Fame jockey Azhar Ismail, 47, is a seven-time champion jockey in Malaysia who has ridden over 900 winners including many at Group level in Malaysia and Singapore. Since his first classic win captured on Imperial Justice in 1983, the Penang-born Azhar has gone on to add more cups and trophies to his cabinet. His main successes include three Coronation Cups (1990, 1991 and 1998), three Selangor Gold Cups (2001, 2002 and 2007) and the Penang Gold Cup with Professional Man in 2008. Azhar seldom rides in Singapore these days, but during a recent visit was lucky enough to take a pick-up ride on Fatkid – his SIA Cup ride – which turned out to be a winning ride in the Group 2 Queen Elizabeth II Cup in April.
Darren Beadman (AUS) – SIA Cup: Irian
Darren Beadman, 45, is one of the youngest riders to be inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. He won his first Group 1 as a teenager in the Golden Slipper and over 80 more top-level wins have followed with Melbourne Cups on Kingston Rule and Saintly included. Beadman retired for two years to become a Baptist preacher but returned in 2000 and proceeded to dominate the Sydney racing scene. He broke his own record for number of wins in the Sydney metropolitan area in 2006/2007 (168) to land his eighth Sydney riders’ premiership. Beadman is now based in Hong Kong as trainer John Moore’s retained rider. He had previous stints in the former British colony where he landed the Hong Kong International Bowl in 1996 and 1997 on Monopolize and Catalan Opening. Building a reputation as a big-race specialist, Beadman won the CXHK Sprint and MBHK Derby on Inspiration and Collection in 2008/2009 for Moore. Last term, he snared eight Group races including the Champions Mile on Able One.
Danny Beasley (AUS) – KrisFlyer: Better Be The OneDanny Beasley, 35, has ridden close to 1,200 winners mainly for leading Sydney trainers Gai Waterhouse and Guy Walter. He was also the stable jockey for successful racehorse owner John Singleton. Among his feature wins are 14 Group 1 races including the Golden Slipper (Polar Success), the Newmarket Handicap (Miss Pennymoney), the Doncaster Handicap and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with the horse he probably had the best association with, Waterhouse’s brilliant galloper Grand Armee. Beasley has ridden in Hong Kong, Macau, and Malaysia. Beasley is in his fourth season at Kranji, where he has established himself as one of the leading riders. He has claimed a few feature races including the Group 1 Raffles Cup with his KrisFlyer mount Cheyenne Dancer, the Group 3 Singapore Guineas with Onceuponatime and last year’s Group 3 Committee’s Prize with Always Certain. Beasley rode Better Be The One to his creditable third in the Group 2 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai last March.
Glen Boss (AUS) – SIA Cup: Risky BusinessKrisFlyer: Sacred Kingdom
Glen Boss, 41, moved to Sydney in 1994 from his native Queensland and Telesto’s win in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes helped put him on the map. He has since become one of Australia’s most accomplished jockeys and one who will always be remembered for his association with triple Melbourne Cup winner, Makybe Diva. But it could all have been very different as he suffered spinal injuries in a 2002 fall in Macau that nearly ended his career. After a long period of recuperation, he returned to be one the most successful Australian big race jockeys of recent years. Boss recently moved from Sydney to Melbourne, taking little time to establish himself among the leading riders there. This year, Boss franked his big race specialist reputation with more Group 1 wins, claiming the Australian Guineas/Australian Derby with Shamrocker. Boss, who has ridden twice in the SIA Cup (2005 and 2007) without success, is currently licensed for three months by the Singapore Turf Club.
Matthew Chadwick (HK) – SIA Cup: California Memory
A former Hong Kong champion apprentice in 2008/2009, Matthew Chadwick, 20, has since continued to make a huge impact in the former British colony, riding mainly for his former mentor Tony Cruz. Even though he only became a fully fledged jockey in mid season, he still finished fourth in the jockeys’ premiership in 2009/10. Groomed in Brisbane, Australia, Chadwick only made his racing debut two years ago, scoring aboard O’Reilly Rally and for good measure has since added around 120 more wins to his tally. Last season he broke the Hong Kong record after riding his 70th Hong Kong winner and graduating from the apprentice ranks within 13 months. This season he was invited to compete in the World Super Jockeys’ Series hosted by the JRA before the Japan Cup. He then captured his biggest race success with his SIA Cup ride, California Memory in the Group 1 Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup. Chadwick currently sits in sixth position in the jockeys’ standings with 34 winners up to 10 May.
Felix Coetzee (SA) – KrisFlyer: Rocket Man
Like wine, South African jockey Felix Coetzee, 52, is getting better with age. As a fifteen-year-old, Coetzee attended the Jockey Academy at Summerveld before starting his indentures with his father at his Kwa-Zulu Natal racing stable. Coetzee soon became a household name in his homeland and eventually on other shores. He now boasts an impressive record of over 3,000 winners in a career spanning 36 years in mainly his native South Africa and Hong Kong where he is best remembered for his association with three-time World Champion Sprinter Silent Witness. Some of the biggest wins claimed by the three-time South African champion jockey include three July Handicaps, a record-equalling seven Gold Cups and five J&B Metropolitan Stakes. In 1992, he accepted an offer to ride in Hong Kong for trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee. After five successful years, he switched to trainer David Hill (now based at Kranji) and then in 1999 with Tony Cruz, trainer of Silent Witness. Topping the list among his major victories in the former British colony and overseas are two Hong Kong Sprints (2003 and 2004) and Japan’s Sprinters Stakes (2005), all with Silent Witness. Coetzee made an emotional farewell to Hong Kong in 2008 to re-establish himself in South Africa, but has remained in the international limelight with his recent association with Singapore sprint star Rocket Man, with whom he recently won the Dubai Golden Shaheen last March.
Frankie Dettori (ITA) – SIA Cup: Calvados Blues
Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori, 40, is widely regarded as one of the best jockeys in the world. Son of former top Italian jockey Gianfranco Dettori, Frankie moved to England at the age of 14 to be apprenticed to another Italian expat, Luca Cumani at Newmarket. His talent shone immediately, with wins coming in thick and fast, often celebrated with his signature star jump. In 1990 Dettori became the first teenager since Lester Piggott in 1954 to ride 100 winners in one season. Dettori’s “Magnificent Seven” became part of English racing lore when he famously rode through the seven-racecard at Ascot Racecourse on September 28, 1996. Dettori has been the retained rider for the powerful Godolphin Stable since 1993 and the formidable combination has won all the major races around the world imaginable. The Epsom Derby was the one Holy Grail that eluded him for many years until his 15th try when he broke his duck in 2007 aboard Authorized for trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam. In 2000, Dettori was saved by fellow jockey Ray Cochrane in a plane crash which killed the pilot.
Olivier Doleuze (FRA) – SIA Cup: Royal Bench
Olivier Doleuze, 39, is the son of Georges Doleuze, a former jockey turned trainer in France. Olivier’s career started in France where he was champion apprentice, riding principally for top French trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, for whom he won many races, including the French 2000 Guineas on Green Tune in 1994, and the Prix de Diane in 2000 aboard Egyptband. He also won the 2001 running of the KrisFlyer Sprint on Iron Mask for Head-Maarek, but finished unplaced aboard Daymarti in the SIA Cup the same year. Doleuze relocated to Hong Kong in 2001/02, and he has partnered more than 350 winners in Hong Kong since. He enjoyed his best season numerically in 2006/7 with 67 winners including a win in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile aboard The Duke, and more recently, the high point of this season has been his association with the 2007 CXHK Mile and 2008 Champions Mile winner Good Ba Ba, unbeaten in his last five races. This year, Doleuze scored his biggest win with Dim Sum in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize.
Vlad Duric (AUS) – KrisFlyer: Ghozi
In a career spanning 15 years in Victoria, Australia, Vlad Duric, 33, has won about 1250 races, two Victorian country apprentices’ premierships and two Victorian country jockeys’ premierships. Based mostly in the country initially, Duric got his break in the city (Melbourne) in 2007 when he scored his first Group 1 win with Bon Hoffa in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield, which was to be followed by the biggest win of his career, the Group 1 Caulfield Cup with Master O’Reilly. Duric, who had previous overseas riding stints in Mauritius and Macau, has been in flying form this term, grabbing the leadership from the start of the season, and currently holds a healthy lead of 10 wins over last year’s reigning champion Joao Moreira on 42 wins as at May 10. Duric, who finished runner-up to Moreira last season, has amazingly held on to the lead despite being often sidelined for suspension. Duric has also struck a fruitful partnership with Gingerbread Man claiming the first two legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge and will bid to make a cleansweep in the final Leg, the Group 1 Singapore Guineas on May 20.
Fausto Durso (BRZ) – KrisFlyer: Powerful Ruler
Brazilian jockey Fausto Durso, was one of the leading jockeys in San Paulo before he relocated to Macau where he won the Champion Jockey title twice (2006/2007 and 2007/2008) racing seasons. He has now amassed over 700 winners since he became a jockey in 1994. In addition to riding in his home country, he had also ridden in Dubai twice. His career highlights in Macau are the Group 1 Chairman’s Challenge Cup with Red Glory in the 2007/2008 racing season and repeated the feat in the same race this year with the Gary Moore-trained Happy Gladiator on April 10. Just recently on May 6, Durso booted home a treble at Taipa Racecourse.
Bernard Fayd’Herbe (SA) – SIA Cup: River Jetez
Bernard Fayd’herbe, 29, is one of South Africa’s leading jockeys and is probably best remembered for his association with South African Horse of the Year and four-time winner of his country’s most important mile race, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Pocket Power. Fayd’herbe also won South Africa’s most important race, the Vodacom Durban July with the same horse though they had to share the spoils with Dancer’s Daughter and jockey Kevin Shea. Fayd’Herbe has the distinction of having won most of his country’s major races at least once. Not a natural lightweight, Fayd’herbe trained with Muay Thai champion Winston Chong to keep his weight in check while maintaining his strength. His most recent big race successes include a South African Guineas double in December and the Group 2 Al Quoz Sprint on J J The Jet Plane at the Dubai World Cup meeting last March.
Royston Ffrench (GB) – KrisFlyer: Happy Dubai
Royston Ffrench, 34, rode his first winner at Doncaster on 21st March 1996 on a horse called Haya Ya Kefaah. He rides a lot for trainer Mark Johnston, and over the past five seasons has averaged around 55 winners per season in the UK. Big race successes in his career to date include the Cesarewitch Handicap twice on Inchcailloch in 1996 and Contact Dancer in 2004, and the Stewards Cup on Borderlescott in 2006. He has ridden 205 winners in the UK over the past four seasons, and in 2009 won both the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville in France and the Group 1 Preis von Europa in Germany on the Mark Johnston-trained Juke Box Jury. He also finished second on the same horse in the Canadian International at Woodbine, but the biggest win of his career to date came aboard Al Shemali in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free at Meydan in 2010. He then went on to add the German Derby on the Mahmoud Al Zarooni-trained Buzzword. Ffrench has in the last few years been “wintering” in Dubai for trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe, with whom he has achieved plenty of success.
Richard Hughes (GB) – SIA Cup: Presvis
Irish-born Richard Hughes, 37, is the son of former top jump jockey and now successful trainer, Dessie Hughes. Given the background, a career in racing always beckoned, and Richard won his first pony race when he was just eight years old. He started riding for his father aged 15, before moving six years and 150 winners later to England to ride work for Richard Hannon and Mick Channon. It proved an inspired move as he now rides principally for Richard Hannon. Tall for a jockey (1.75m) he has had his weight problems too, but an incredibly strict regime enables him to ride at 54kg. Since coming to Britain in 1994 Hughes has ridden over 1700 winners. He has never been champion jockey, but came close last season when his total of 192 winners saw him fill the runner-up spot behind Paul Hanagan’s tally of 205 in the 2010 Jockey’s Championship. Last season he rode the Richard Hannon trained trio of milers – Canford Cliffs, Dick Turpin and Paco Boy to five Group 1 successes, and with the first two still in training can look forward to more success in 2011. Unusually for a flat jockey, Hughes has ridden regularly over hurdles, notching up 40 victories including the 1997 Irish Champion Hurdle on Cockney Lad for trainer Noel Mead. Hughes is adamant that he will fulfill his ambition to ride at least once in a steeplechase before he ends his career.
Joao Moreira (BRZ) – SIA Cup: Waikato
Joao Moreira, 27, has been the pin-up jockey at Kranji since he arrived in 2009. After showing his wares with a third place on the jockey’s premiership on 69 wins at his first foray despite joining only in March and missing out about a month at the end of the year, the Brazilian jockey went on to sew up the title from a long way out. Moreira pulverised the previous record of most wins held by Noel Callow (106) to wrap up the season with 116 wins, a staggering 36 wins clear of runner-up Vlad Duric. Back in Brazil, Moreira, who has been riding since 2000, was a rider of over 1000 wins, mainly garnered in Sao Paulo, including the Grade 1 Grande Premio Diana and Grande Premio Henrique de Toledo Lara, both captured in 2008 with top filly Bubbly Jane at Cidade Jardim. Moreira also rode Brazilian champion Eu Tambem to success in the Grade 1 Derby Argentino in Palermo, Argentina in 2006. Moreira has also ridden in France, Dubai and Uruquay and is a two-time Brazilian Eclipse Award (Trofeu Mossoro) winner (2006/7 and 2007/8). Moreira, who ranks the 2010 Group 1 Patron’s Bowl with Intercept as his highest honour in Singapore, currently sits second on the Singapore jockey’s log on 37 wins.
Gerald Mosse (FRA) – SIA Cup: Chinchon
Gerald Mosse, 44, is a former champion apprentice jockey in France where his master was none other than former Hong Kong-based trainer Patrick-Louis Biancone. Mosse quickly rose through the ranks to sign as stable jockey for legendary trainer François Boutin and his stable of horses belonging to Jean-Luc Lagardere. The feature wins soon started falling his way so much so he has tallied an amazing haul of some 50 Group 1 winners in Europe, the most notable being the 1990 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Saumarez. Mosse then spent 1992 and part of 1993 racing in Hong Kong, before securing a lucrative contract between 1993 and 2001 with leviathan owner the Aga Khan. He then returned to Hong Kong where he has claimed most of the classic races such as three Hong Kong Derbies, a Champions Mile and arguably the most famous win in last year’s Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile with Beauty Flash. Besides the Mile, Mosse, who now splits his time between Hong Kong and major European and international races, has chalked up 32 other winners in the current 2010/11 racing season in Hong Kong, including the Stewards’ Cup and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup, both Group 1 events. On November 2, 2010, Mosse added another feather to his cap by becoming the first French jockey to win the Melbourne Cup on the US-bred horse Americain.
Brett Prebble (AUS) – KrisFlyer: Green Birdie
Brett Prebble, 33, is a former champion apprentice with former Kranji trainer John Meagher and twice champion jockey in Melbourne where he teamed successfully with David Hall. Prebble’s Hong Kong breakthrough came aboard Precision in the Champions & Chater Cup in 2003 and in 2005 he added the Group 1 Australia Stakes on Hong Kong sprinter Cape Of Good Hope at Moonee Valley. He claimed his biggest Hong Kong victory in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint with Absolute Champion in 2006 and again in 2009 with Sacred Kingdom. A perennial second (in the last four seasons) in the Hong Kong jockey’s championship, Prebble is in the same familiar spot again on 61 winners this term, 19 behind arch-rival Douglas Whyte. His battle with Whyte for the 2009/10 Jockeys’ Championship, in which he eventually went down by 100-99, was one of the most thrilling in racing history. As scant consolation, Prebble registered six wins at Happy Valley on June 20, to establish a new Hong Kong record. During one of his regular sojourns back home, Prebble won Australia’s premier sprint race for juveniles, the Group 1 Golden Slipper on Crystal Lily in 2010.
Saimee Jumaat (SIN) – KrisFlyer: Perfect Pins
Singaporean jockey Saimee Jumaat, 39, has won the highest accolades on the Malayan Racing Association (MRA) circuit, including a historic win in the inaugural SIA Cup with Ouzo in 2000. He has had five more attempts but failed to relive the heights of 2000. Perfect Pins will be his fifth ride in the KrisFlyer, proof if need be that the local champion is well sought after on the big occasions. The former son of a syce who grew up around the old Bukit Timah racecourse, Saimee is a nine-time champion jockey. He has won most of the major MRA races including the Singapore Gold Cup, Singapore Derby, Raffles Cup, Lion City Cup, Selangor Gold Cup.
Glyn Schofield (SA) – SIA Cup: Gitano Hernando
Born in England, raised in South Africa and now based in Australia, Glyn Schofield, 44, is a well-travelled jockey who has scored around 1700 wins spread over eight countries, including South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Mauritius, France and England. Schofield commenced race riding as an apprentice in 1984 and booted home his first winner at Scottsville, Durban the next year. He was twice runner-up champion apprentice in his homeland. Among the major races won by Schofield are the Summer Cup, the South African Derby, South African Guineas and the South African Fillies Guineas. But his biggest international successes came during a four-year stint in Hong Kong when he captured the Hong Kong Sprint with Natural Blitz and the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup on River Dancer. Schofield’s next big move was to relocate to Sydney in 2007, following into the footsteps of brother-in-law Jeff Lloyd. While Lloyd eventually went to Hong Kong, Schofield established himself among one of the leading jockeys in the Harbour City. He notched 81 winners in 2008/2009 and 86 in 2009/2010, including his first Australian Group 1 win on Road To Rock in the George Main Stakes in 2009.
Soo Khoon Beng (MAL) – SIA Cup: New Rose Wood
Penang-born Soo Khoon Beng, 36, was Singapore champion jockey in 2005 when he also won his biggest race, the Singapore Gold Cup, with Terfel. Soo has been first rider for trainers Don Baertschiger, John Meagher but has since been riding for a variety of trainers since Meagher bowed out of Kranji at the start of 2011. The likeable rider was also champion apprentice in 1997, 1998, 1999. After returning from a brief stint in South Korea in 2008, Soo took some distance from race riding but somehow found his way back to the track and not long after the winner’s enclosure. Besides the Gold Cup, Soo also captured the Group 1 Raffles Hotels & Resorts Cup with Lim’s Objective in 2007. He has been relatively away from the limelight until he recently scored with Dontellthewife in the Group 3 JBBA Moonbeam Vase.
Jamie Spencer (IRE) – SIA Cup: Wigmore Hall
Son of Irish jumps trainer George Spencer, Jamie Spencer, 30, burst on his country’s racing scene in 1998 when winning the Irish Guineas on Tarascon at 17, becoming the youngest jockey to win an Irish classic. He was champion apprentice in Ireland the following year with 46 winners. He then briefly became stable jockey for champion trainer Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle, paving the way to an Irish champion jockey title in 2004 with 93 winners. After splitting with O’Brien, Spencer moved to England, where he won the title in 2005, with 180 winners before doubling the dose in 2007, sharing the title with Seb Sanders. Spencer who now rides largely for trainers Michael Bell, Kevin Ryan and Paul Cole, has one SIA Cup win to his credit when he steered Endless Hall to victory for UK-based Italian trainer Luca Cumani in 2001.
Steven Arnold (AUS) – KrisFlyer: Capablanca
Besides his home land, Steven Arnold, 36, has ridden with success in many countries namely England, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Macau. Arnold is tall for a jockey (1.75m) but has built a solid reputation in Australia, mainly at his base in Melbourne, as one of the coolest and most patient riders around. First apprenticed to his mother in Alice Springs, Arnold then moved to the “Big Smoke” in Adelaide, joining respected trainer Ted Cameron. Arnold has more than 1,000 winners to his credit, with over 70 scored at Group level, and many for legendary trainer Bart Cummings and prominent Victorian owner Lloyd Williams. Among his more significant victories are the Group 1 Tatts Cox Plate last year with So You Think and the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot (England) with Scenic Blast in 2009.
Jose Verenzuela (VNZ) – KrisFlyer: Eclair Fastpass
Venezuelan-born jockey Jose Verenzuela, 42, is a veteran of 23 years in the saddle, with approximately 1200 winners to his credit, mostly captured in his homeland, the United States and Saudi Arabia. After starting his career as an apprentice in Venezuela, Verenzuela became champion apprentice in 1988 before winning the senior title in 1993. It was not long before he ventured overseas, north of the border to America. Based initially on the East Coast, mainly in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Chicago, Verenzuela eventually ventured further West to sunny California, mainly at Del Mar and Santa Anita. While he still called America home, the Venezuelan started riding in Saudi Arabia in 1999 during the US winter before returning home for the summer season. Striking a lucrative contract for Prince Sultan Al Kabeer, Verenzuela won many big races in the oil-rich kingdom to eventually claim his biggest international success to-date, across in neighbouring Dubai, the US$ 2 million Group 1 Golden Shaheen (1200m) for the Prince with the Jerry Barton-trained Big City Man in 2009. He has also claimed the title twice in Saudi Arabia (2000/01). His latest overseas adventure took him to Singapore in March when he secured a four-month contract riding for local trainer Desmond Koh. It did not take long for the South American to make an impact at Kranji, riding winners regularly so much so he is already sitting in 10th on the jockey’s premiership on 15 winners.
Barend Vorster (SA) – KrisFlyer: Amadeus Mozart
South African jockey Barend Vorster, 34, has been riding since 1993 and has booted home around 980 winners. The lightweight jockey made his Singapore debut in October 2003, starting his love affair with the Republic island on a two-day permit. He enjoyed the racing at Kranji so much he decided to return full time in 2004, and has not looked back since. That year turned out to be a stellar year for Vorster when he won the coveted Singapore Jockeys Championship in commanding style. Vorster has claimed his fair share of big races, with the highest acclaim coming in the Group 1 Lion City Cup with Why Be in 2007. Backed by the powerful Patrick Shaw stable, Vorster has consistently finished in the Top 10 since his premiership-winning year in 2004. Vorster takes over from International Group 1 duties from fellow South African Felix Coetzee whenever Rocket Man races locally.
Don Baertschiger (SG) – KrisFlyer: Capablanca
After more than 38 years in the racing industry, 17 of them as a professional trainer based in Melbourne, Baertschiger, 60, is one of the longest-serving expatriate trainers on the Malayan Racing Association (MRA) circuit, having been around for 18 years. Assisted by right-hand man and son Shane, Baertschiger has consistently been among the Top 10 trainers since he relocated to Kranji. The affable Victorian, better remembered back home for his win with Butternut in the 1985 Moonee Valley Gold Cup, has put a bridle on some useful sorts since calling Singapore home. Those who spring to mind are Con Air, Tres Sheik, Always Fast, Capablanca and Tuxedo Moon.
Michael Bell (GB) – SIA Cup: Wigmore Hall
Born on October 10th 1960 Bell trains at Fitzroy House stables, Newmarket. Michael served in the army before embarking on his training career. He spent time with jumps trainer Mercy Rimell, and then with flat trainer Paul Cole, before taking out his licence in 1989. His first Group 1 success came in 1994 when he sent out Hoh Magic to win the Prix Morny at Deauville in France, and he enjoyed his first Group I success in England in 2004 when the two-year-old Motivator won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. Motivator went on to run away with the 2005 Derby at Epsom, and more recently Bell has added to his tally of Classics with the victories of Sariska in 2009 in both the English and Irish Oaks. He also enjoyed another 2009 Group 1 success with Art Connoisseur in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, one of the British legs of the Global Sprint Challenge. Now in his 23rd season as a trainer, Bell has sent out the winners of over 1000 races to date. He currently has around 100 horses in training at his Newmarket base.
Herman Brown (SA) – SIA Cup: Gitano Hernando
South African Herman Brown, 50, comes from a racing background, his father and grandfather both being trainers. Father, Herman Brown Snr, was a former champion trainer in South Africa. Brown helped out in his father’s yard as a schoolboy, before becoming his assistant trainer in 1980, and spent five years with him, prior to branching out on his own in 1985 at Clairwood Training Centre. He moved to Summerveld in 1989, and then built his own Callaway Training Park in the grounds in 1999. He now divides his time between there and the Dubai season, which runs from November to March. Brown has saddled more than 1,000 winners but has cut back his numbers which once swelled to around 150 in South Africa to around 60, taking his best horses to Dubai and then on to Europe for the turf season. He is a former winner of the SIA Cup having won with Jay Peg in 2008.
Steven Burridge (SG) – SIA Cup: Risky Business
Steven Burridge, 56, has been in the racing industry since 1970 when he started out as an apprentice jockey licensed by the Victoria Racing Club. He received his professional jockey licence in 1975. He rode on the MRA circuit on a visiting jockey permit in 1987 before riding in Macau from 1989 to 1994. He returned to the MRA circuit in 1994 to work as a track rider for several trainers. From 1999, he was Stable Supervisor to several trainers in Malaysia and Singapore before becoming a trainer in his own right. He won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup twice with King And King (2006) and Trigger Express (2008). Burridge came close to earning some local pride when King And King ran second to Cosmo Bulk in the 2006 SIA Cup. Burridge landed his first Singapore Trainer’s Premiership last year, preparing 90 winners for the season.
Robert Collet (FRA) – SIA Cup: Royal Bench
Robert Collet, 63, is one of France’s longer serving trainers, having set up in 1978 in Chantilly when he purchased his yard from the late Marcel Boussac. His brother Gerard, and son Rodolphe are also trainers. Before starting on his own, Robert Collet was assistant to the Cunnington brothers, John and Jacko. Currently Collet trains around 150 horses. Over the years he has enjoyed considerable success both in France and overseas. He won the English St Leger with Son of Love in 1979, the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1986 with Last Tycoon, the Washington DC International and the Japan Cup in 1987 both with Le Glorieux. He has won the Canadian International (River Memories – 1987), the E P Taylor Stakes twice (Truly A Dream 1994, and Choc Ice 2001). More recently he trained Whipper to win three Group 1 races in three years, the Prix Morny in 2003, the Prix Jacques Le Marois in 2004, and the Prix Maurice de Gheest in 2005.
Tony Cruz (HK) – SIA Cup: California Memory
Tony Cruz is one of the big name players from Hong Kong. The 54-year-old started out as a jockey, riding his first winner at Happy Valley in 1974 before heading to Europe in the late 1980’s where he enjoyed considerable success and rode a number of prestigious Group 1 victories. He was Champion Jockey on six occasions and has won more races than any other jockey in Hong Kong. Since turning his hand to training he has enjoyed outstanding success, training two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Silent Witness (2004/05) then followed up the year after with Bullish Luck. Most of Hong Kong’s big races have fallen his way as a trainer including the Hong Kong Derby, the Classic Mile, Champions Mile and the Hong Kong International Mile last year with Beauty Flash.
Luca Cumani (GB) – SIA Cup: Presvis
Luca Cumani is one of the big names in the training ranks worldwide. Cumani, 62, started out as a successful amateur rider before becoming an assistant trainer to his father Sergio in Italy and then Henry Cecil in England. Since branching out in his own right in 1976, Cumani has been a constant traveller to all the big international races around the globe with Presvis lining-up for his third run in this race alone. Cumani is a dual winner of the English Derby and prepared Falbrav who was voted both the British Horseracing Board and Timeform 2003 Horse of the Year. On the international stage, besides winning the APQEII Cup and the Dubai Duty Free with Presvis, Cumani has also added his name to the SIA Cup in 2001 with Endless Hall.
Brian Dean – KrisFlyer: Powerful Ruler
Brian Dean, 52, rode on the Malayan Racing Association circuit as a visiting jockey in 1989, 1991 and 1993. Among his 35 wins are included the Merlion Trophy and Orchid Trophy. Dean subsequently worked as a track rider from 1995 to 2000. He then worked as a Stable Supervisor to top Kranji trainers Charles Leck and Laurie Laxon before striking out on his own in 2005. The former Victorian has not looked back since, churning out winners at a regular rate. Dean captured his first Group win in 2007 with World Airlines in the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy and in 2008 won the Group 3 Three-Year-Old Sprint with Oneninetyfive.
Douglas Dragon – SIA Cup: Perfect Pins
Veteran trainer Douglas Dragon, 68, started out as a professional jockey in January 1968. He was granted a Malayan Racing Association trainer’s licence in August 1984. Some of his biggest wins in his training career included sending out Ace Jet to win the 1987 Selangor Tunku Gold Cup and Trustworthy to win the Perak Derby in 1989. After a few quiet years from the limelight, the soft-spoken trainer was catapulted onto the big race scene with The Hornet, who bagged the third Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge (Group 2) in 2008 before capturing the Group 3 Four-Year-Old Mile a year later.
Caspar Fownes (HK) – KrisFlyer: Green Birdie
Caspar Fownes, 43, assisted his father Lawrie Fownes for several seasons, before taking over the mantle from his father in the 2003/4 Hong Kong season. He sent out 44 winners in his first season as a trainer, eclipsing his father’s best seasonal effort, and in the 2006/7 season won his first trainer’s premiership before reclaiming it in 2009. His most important win came via The Duke in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile in 2006. He also saddled the first four past the post when Green Treasure won the Group 3 Sha Tin Trophy in 2009. Fownes, who has a particularly good strike rate with his runners at Happy Valley, currently lies third behind Tony Cruz and John Moore in the trainer’s premiership. Fownes is not at his first Kranji visit, having sent Bowman’s Crossing (third) for a tilt at the SIA Cup in 2006 and Sanziro (also third) in the KrisFlyer Sprint in 2008 before his success with Green Birdie last year.
Michael Freedman (SG) – KrisFlyer: Better Be The One
Michael Freedman, 43, joined the Kranji training ranks in April 2008. Younger brother of Hall of Fame trainer Lee, Michael has also been the Racing Manager at Lee Freedman’s Markdel property in Victoria before coming to Singapore. Freedman has learned a lot from his brother after working alongside him for about 20 years. Despite being around for a fairly short period of time, Freedman has already netted 140 wins in Singapore, including some silverware such as the Group 1 Raffles Cup (2009) with Cheyenne Dancer and the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy with Any Humour among others. At his first foray on the international stage he trained Better Be The One into third place in the Group 2 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai in March.
Mike de Kock (SA) – SIA Cup: River Jetez
Mike de Kock, 47, won his first Group 1 just four months into his training career in 1989. He is a four-time champion trainer in South Africa, where he has won every major event at least once. De Kock trained the only South African Triple Crown winner to date, Horse Chestnut. De Kock’s runners also command great respect in Dubai where he has been leading trainer winning the UAE Derby five times (Victory Moon, Lundy’s Liability, Asiatic Boy, Honour Devil and Musir), the Dubai Duty Free twice with Ipi Tombe and Right Approach and the Sheema Classic once. De Kock spread his domination to Asia where he took out Hong Kong’s Audemars Piguet QEII Cup twice with Irridescence and Archipenko, and finally cracked it for his first Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup with Eagle Mountain in 2008. He also added the SIA Cup to his trophy cabinet with Lizard’s Desire last year.
Desmond Koh (SG) – SIA Cup: New Rose Wood– KrisFlyer: Eclair Fastpass
Desmond Koh at 37 is one of the younger brigade of trainers in Singapore. He only discovered the world of horse racing while he was studying business in the US. Drawn to a sport he was unfamiliar with back in Singapore, he started out as a stable employee under Californian trainer Ian Jory and was upgraded to an assistant trainer’s licence in 1997. He then became one of several assistant trainers to Hall of Fame trainer Jack Vanberg, who had a huge string of horses under his charge. He received his professional trainer’s licence in 2000. Koh returned home in 2002 and joined local trainer Douglas Dragon as his assistant before branching out on his own in 2004 when he was granted his MRA professional licence. Koh won his first Group race when Safety Outlet captured the Group 3 Stewards’ Cup in November 2006 and gaining his first Group 1 win when Phenom took out the Patron’s Bowl in 2008. Koh is enjoying a successful 2011 season, sitting in equal fourth position with 21 winners thus far.
Carlos-Laffon-Parias (FR) – SIA Cup: Chinchon
Spanish-born Carlos Laffon-Parias hails from a racing family. He was champion amateur rider in Spain five times then moved to Chantilly, France, in 1986 to become assistant to Criquette Head for five years until 1991 when he took out a licence to train. He had to wait until 1998 for his first Group 1 success, when Spadoun won the Criterium de Saint‑Cloud, a race he landed again in 1999 with Goldamix. Further success in France came in the form of a Group 1 victory with Nadia for Maktoum al Maktoum in the 2001 Prix St Alary. Amongst the best horses Laffon-Parias has trained is the miler and multiple Group race winner, Keltos, whom he saddled to take the Group1 Lockinge Stakes in 2002 at Newbury in England. Laffon-Parias features regularly amongst the top ten trainers in France every season. He is no stranger to Singapore as Sarrasin represented him in the 2004 SIA Cup but could only manage seventh behind Epalo while in 2008 he fared better with Balius running third to Jay Peg. The same year he won the Poule d’Essai Des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) with Falco, before capturing his next Group 1 success with Chinchon, his SIA Cup runner, in the United Nations Stakes in the US last July.
Laurie Laxon (SG) – SIA Cup: Waikato
Six-time champion trainer Laurie Laxon, 65, is undoubtedly one of the best trainers based at Kranji. The New Zealander has more than 30 years of experience in racehorse training, during which his biggest achievement was capturing the 1988 Melbourne Cup with Empire Rose. Before plying his trade in Singapore, Laxon also added the 1993 Hong Kong International Cup to his trophy cabinet courtesy of Romanee Conti. After a slow beginning to his Singapore career in 2000, Laxon has subsequently always finished in the Top 5 on the trainer’s premiership, which he won in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. He broke his own record of 100 wins registered at Kranji in 2004 when he hauled in 104 wins in 2008. Despite his success on the domestic front, a win in the SIA Cup has eluded the affable Kiwi even after fielding runners without fail since 2001.
John Moore (HK) – SIA Cup: Irian
John Moore, 61, has been involved in Hong Kong racing for 40 years, since the beginning of the burgeoning industry. After being assistant trainer to his legendary father George, who himself was a multiple champion trainer in the former British colony, Moore commenced his training career in 1985, winning the premiership on five occasions. Moore has enjoyed many successes in feature races of late winning the prestigious Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint with Inspiration in 2008, the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby in 2009 and Citibank Gold Cup this year with Collection, and more recently saddled an international double thanks to Viva Pataca in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup and Able One in the Champions Mile before adding another Champions Mile this year with Xtension.
John O’Hara (SG) – KrisFlyer: Ghozi
John O’Hara, 47, returned in 2009 for a second stint as a trainer in Singapore. A winner of more than 200 races, O’Hara was first granted a licence in May 1992, setting up stables in Singapore before moving to Penang in January 1997. He relinquished his trainer’s licence in January 2000, becoming the assistant trainer for Malcolm Thwaites before moving to Charles Leck on April 1 2002, staying through until September 2009. Feature race wins for O’Hara include the 1994 Piala Emas in Kuala Lumpur with Rochae, the 1998 Anniversary Cup (Penang) and the Singapore Silver Cup with Gliderline. O’Hara did not take long to land a feature event at his second stint when Ghozi powered away to a convincing win in the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup in 2010.
Ali Rashid Al Raihe (UAE) – KrisFlyer: Happy Dubai
Ali Rashid Al Raihe, 63, began his training career in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, before relocating to train at Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, where he has established himself as a leading trainer. In the 2008/9 season in the UAE he sent out the winners of 22 races. He trained the useful sprinter Tropical Star to win races at the Dubai International Carnival in 2005, 2006 and 2007, and that year won the Jebel Ali Mile with Jet Express. Al Shemali gave him his biggest win in the Group 1 US$5 million Dubai Duty Free in 2010, and playing his part in ensuring that Al Raihe ended the UAE 2009/10 season as champion trainer with a total of 28 winners which he backed up in 2010/11 by training 30 winners and again finishing on top of the list. Al Raihe saddled Al Shemali to third in last year’s SIA Cup.
Patrick Shaw (SG) – KrisFlyer: Rocket Man, Amadeus Mozart
South African Patrick Shaw, 54, started out as stable employee in 1988 before being upgraded with a professional trainer’s licence by the Jockey Club of South Africa in 1990. Shaw was consistently amongst the top 10 trainers in South Africa before relocating to Singapore in 2001. He came into prominence in 2002 when his charge Palace Line won the International Group 3 Singapore Classic and the Singapore Guineas. Boosted by his close association with prominent South African owner Fred Crabbia, Shaw has prepared useful horses like Blizz Bless, Que Expresion and War Horn, but none probably come close to Singapore’s current megastar, Rocket Man, who has won 15 races from 19 starts, including three Group 1 Lion City Cups with his biggest claim to fame coming in this year’s Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Ricky Yiu – KrisFlyer: Sacred Kingdom
Former jockey Ricky Yiu Poon-fie, 54, rode 15 winners between 1974 and 1981 in Hong Kong. Yiu was first licensed as a trainer in 1995/96, and has performed creditably with a haul in excess of 300 wins. He was the first trainer of Hong Kong’s champion sprinter Fairy King Prawn, when he took out the inaugural Hong Kong Sprint in 1999. Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint winner (2007/09) Sacred Kingdom is another top galloper he has trained. Twice ranked world’s best turf sprinter, Sacred Kingdom went through a small dip in 2009, before rebounding with victory in the Group 1 International Sprint. Yiu has performed impressively during his career with one of the best win strike-rates in town.
Tan Hor Khoon (SG) – SIA Cup: Fatkid
Tan Hor Khoon, 50, has more than ten years of experience with training horses and stable management. He started out as a stable supervisor to his brother-in-law Charles Leck. He was later upgraded to the position of assistant trainer by the Macau Jockey Club in 1993. Tan became stable supervisor to Leck in 1996 when the latter moved to the Bukit Timah Racecourse. He was subsequently given an Assistant Trainer’s licence by the MRA in 1997 before obtaining his trainer’s licence in mid 2001. A consistent performer, 2011 has been a breakout year for Tan landing his first ‘Black Type’ victories when SIA Cup contender Fatkid took the Group 3 Fortune Bowl in February before adding the Group 2 Queen Elizabeth II Cup to his record.
Mahmoud Al Zarooni (UAE) – SIA Cup: Calvados Blues
Born in Dubai, Al Zarooni is 34, trains for Godolphin, and is based at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket for the European summer, and at Al Quoz Stables in Dubai during the European winter. He became a licensed trainer in March 2010, and hit the headlines when his very first runner Calming Influence won the Godolphin Mile at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night, and then he saddled Allybar to finish third in the Dubai World Cup itself. In his first season in England he sent out a total of 43 winners, among which most notably were Buzzword to win the German Derby in Hamburg, and the two-year-old Biondetti to win the Premio Gran Criterium at San Siro in Italy. 2011 has started well for Al Zarooni, both in Dubai and in Europe. He saddled Rewilding to win the Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night in March, and one month later landed his first English Classic when the 16/1 shot Blue Bunting and Frankie Dettori got up to win the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. To date Al Zarooni has sent out 10 winners in the 2011 European season.