Singapore’s riding stocks were boosted this week with the return of popular Australian jockey, Daniel Moor.
The multiple Gr1-winning hoop will be hoping to kick off his belated three-month riding contract with a win in the SG$150,000 Gr2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic on Coin Toss for trainer Michael Clements on Saturday.
Despite an interrupted preparation after being withdrawn on trainer’s request from the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) on April 8, Coin Toss will have admirers in the second Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge series after running on impressively to place second behind stablemate Takanini – also in the 3YO Classic field – in a Class 4 race over 1400m on April 16.
The experienced Moor – who made three flying visits to Kranji last year where he booted home two winners from 12 rides – liked what he had seen of Coin Toss from afar, so he was delighted when Clements called to offer him the plum ride on the son of Flying Artie.
“When I let trainers know that I was heading back for another stint in April, Michael got in touch with me early,” said Moor on Thursday.
“He mentioned that he had a handful of three-year-olds headed to the feature races and wanted me on Coin Toss.
“I had a look at his form and while it was mostly on the Poly(track), he was a progressive type and had the pedigree to handle the turf.
“But he (Coin Toss) needed to transfer his best form to the turf at the races and he showed that he was more than capable on the grass at his last start.
“That race was also over 1400m so he ticked both boxes (turf and distance) heading towards the (3YO) Classic so I couldn’t have been happier with his run.”
Moor was also happy after Coin Toss drew barrier five in the feature race.
“We get options from barrier five,” continued the jockey nicknamed ‘Buckets’.
“If you draw inside, you can find trouble and if you draw out, sometimes you have to take your medicine and go back, so five is perfect.
“I will have a good talk with Michael closer to the race regarding tactics but from that barrier, I can race him handier than he did at his last start where he got back from the wide gate (11).”
Held in tandem with the Gr1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on May 20, the Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1600m) will be the third Leg of the Singapore 3YO Challenge series, in which the Singapore 3YO Sprint was run as the first Leg and won by the Donna Logan-trained January.
Moor – who is licensed to ride in Singapore till July 1, 2023 – reintroduced himself to the familiar faces and surroundings at trackwork this morning and he could not be happier to be back in Singapore.
“Singapore is like a second home for me,” he explained.
“I’ve always loved the city and riding at Kranji. It gets pretty bleak back home (Melbourne, Australia) this time of the year and it’s the perfect time to come up here to some hot weather and rejuvenate myself.
“Not having to travel to different race tracks every day is a great and racing one day a week makes it feel like a ‘working holiday’. I haven’t had a break since my Hong Kong stint (in April 2022), so three or so months in Singapore is ideal.
“I only started back this morning as the medical and paperwork took a little longer than expected, but it was good to jump on a few horses and catch up with a few old faces.
“I’m riding one for (trainer) Tim (Fitzsimmons) at 52kgs (Dr Kardo in the $50,000 Countofmontecristo 2017 Stakes, a Class 4 Division 1 race over 1200m) this weekend and I haven’t ridden that light for a while,” he said.
“I have another two rides for Tim (Creative Dreams in the SG$75,000 Starlight 2021 Stakes, a Restricted Maiden race over 1100m and Elite Incredible in the SG$70,000 Debt Collector 2016 Stakes, a Class 3 race over 1400m).
“And Fountain Of Fame ($30,000 Golden Monkey 2022 Class 5 Division 1 race over 1400m) for (trainer) James (Peters), so it’s good to ride for the old firm.
“Six rides for Tim, James and Michael (one more in Real Success in the $50,000 Super Easy 2012 Stakes, a Class 4 race over 1400m) is a good way to ease my way back into racing at Kranji, but I will be touching base with all the trainers over the next few days.”
Moor – who rode his 1000th winner earlier this year and recently booted home Jigsaw to win the Gr2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on January 28 – currently has his family in town for a week or so, but would not discount a longer stay in the future.
“The family is up this week for a holiday,” he said.
“It was (wife) Lauren’s birthday and we took the kids (son, Jack and daughter, Penelope) to Universal Studios yesterday, which was great fun.
“They have school and sports back home so they’d have to get back, but in the future, we would seriously consider staying in Singapore for the long-term.
“The racing looks like it’s moving forward and it would be great for everyone – trainers, jockeys, owners – if we go back to two meetings a week, which I think can happen with time and support.”
The first is off at 06h00.