RAHEEB & CALLAN MURRAY
Singapore – South African jockey Callan Murray combined with trainer Michael Clements to spring a major upset with outsider Raheeb in a $75,000 novice race over 1200m at Kranji on Sunday.
The former South African champion apprentice has not been jumping on many leading chances since he began his 10-month Singapore stint on March 1.
The 23-year-old had notched up only one winner, another longshot, Ganassi, two days after his Kranji debut.
Murray did not make Raheeb a good thing to end the lean spell, but, having sat once on the Ocean Park four-year-old in a barrier trial, he had a gut-feel he would not be out of his ground either.
He went in with a positive frame of mind, bouncing his mount out to park outside pacesetter Federation (Glen Boss) from the start before taking it up as they swung for the judge.
A horse who did show ability from five runs at Kranji, winning a Restricted Maiden race over 1200m last November when then prepared by Saimee Jumaat, Raheeb did not shirk the task when Murray called on him at the 400m.
In a few strides, he shot past Federation, putting three lengths on the chasing pack for what looked like a decisive move.
Favourite Mo Almighty (Michael Rodd) was clearly run off his feet while Implement (John Powell) was not making much of an indent into the margin. Axel (Benny Woodworth) finished the best of the rest to close the gap down to 2.75 lengths.
“It’s good to be back a winner. It’s been a long time between beers,” said Murray. “That horse trialled very good the other day, but we thought he might still need the run. I was able to tackle the frontrunner 500m out, and he showed he had plenty of ability with the way he quickened away.
“I’m also glad to get a winner for the team back home.”
Clements, who has had Raheeb for only three runs, said: “Callan rode him well, was able to give him a breather round the bend, he gave him every chance.”
Another South African struggling to get good rides is JP van der Merwe, who did get a second place yesterday.
SA-trained Mauritian Nooresh Juglall also got a second. He will soon be leaving Singapore for southern Africa after a very successful five-year spell in the city-state. – www.turfclub.com