Guyon Triumphs In Mauritius

Mulrennan was narrowly beaten in the overall points competition behind French star Maxime Guyon

 Jockey Paul Mulrennan

Jockey Paul Mulrennan

Fresh from his maiden century in Britain, Paul Mulrennan rode a double on the second day of the Sun Resorts International Jockeys’ Weekend at the historic Champ de Mars racecourse in Mauritius.

After a copybook effort to partner hot favourite Kremlin Captain to an easy victory in the fourth race on the card, the 28-year-old Mulrennan followed up in the next race – the featured Long Beach Cup – on Diamond Light.

Despite making the frame on eight of his ten mounts over the weekend, however, Mulrennan was narrowly beaten in the overall points competition behind French star Maxime Guyon, who rode three winners altogether from 15 races spread across two days at the idiosyncratic city-centre venue.

Mulrennan would have won had he not been touched off by an Ahmed Ajtebi-ridden favourite in a race on Saturday’s card. “Everything I rode here on the first day was second third or fourth so it was great to get a couple of winners,” said the northern-based freelance. “It’s rounded off a great year for me, my best-ever season with 101 winners, and to come here and get another couple is great.”

Mulrennan was following in illustrious footsteps by participating in the 20th edition of the Mauritius Jockeys’ Weekend, one of the longest-running jockeys’ challenges on the circuit, dating from 1984 – there have been a few blank years since – when Willie Carson beat the likes of Yves Saint-Martin and Walter Swinburn to claim the trophy.

Others jockeys to have topped the list at this event include Swinburn, Stephane Pasquier, Frankie Dettori, William Buick, Tony Ives and Christophe Soumillon (twice).

Both Mulrennan’s victories were popular with a bumper crowd, as Kremlin Captain was a well-backed market leader and Diamond Light represented dominant trainer Paul Foo Kune, whose fans – many wearing replica yellow-and-black silks – welcomed Mulrennan’s second winner in vocal fashion.

“It meant a hell of a lot to them and their flags were waving,” said Mulrennan. “It is a very tight track, even tighter than Chester but with a stiff uphill finish, but it rides better than it looks. They tend to get racing a long way out and you’ve got to try and be patient. But once you’ve had that first ride you can work it out – saving energy and ground is the important thing. You can’t win three or four wide.”

Other jockeys to ride winners at Champ de Mars over the weekend included Pasquier, German champion Eddy Pedroza and Australian superstar Damien Oliver, the highest-profile rider in action at this year’s challenge.

The champion trainer title for the weekend went to Budheswar Gujadhur of the Foo Kune Stable while the winning jockey team was SMS Pariaz, made up of Damien Oliver (Australia), Jose De Souza (Brazil) and Cedric Segeon (France). / additional by Sporting Post Ed Team

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