Racing: 'Harry' breaks Woodworth's MRA record

Racing: 'Harry' breaks Woodworth's MRA record

After two going through an "unusual" two race days without a winner, boom apprentice A'Isisuhairi Kasim finally eclipsed Benny Woodworth's 1995 record of 56 Malayan Racing Association wins by an apprentice in a season in Race 4 at Kranji on Sunday.

The Kelantan-born, Kranji-based rookie had equalled the 18-year-old record aboard BM Win last Friday week and many thought the new standard would be set in a matter of rides with the way the bang-in-form rookie was cutting a swathe, here, there and everywhere (Malaysia and New Zealand of late).

But the Magical 57 took a little longer than anticipated as it needed another 23 rides for the 28-year-old to finally stand on his own in the history books, thanks to a horse aptly prepared by his master, trainer Steven Burridge.

First win

NATURE IS NATURE, who was incidentally posting his first win at his eighth start, was settled in the box seat from the outset by A'Isisuhairi, as Greenback led from Lucky Dapper.

The Lago Delight five-year-old issued a powerful challenge once he was peeled out for his run at the top of the straight, before nailing Greenback for a ¾-length win in 1min 24.88sec for the 1,400m on the long course.

"It has been a couple of meetings I was struggling to get a win to break that record. It was a little bit frustrating but today I got some nice rides and it's good to ride a winner, especially for my boss, to break the record. Yeah, very happy," said A'Isisuhairi, who is better known as Harry locally and Australasia, where he started his riding career.

"It's always good to do something, to break the record, which has been a while, since 1995, so to break that record, I think I've done a good job."

Before his record-breaking win, A'Isisuhairi certainly went through some frustrating moments.

He said: "I had a few thirds, but otherwise, not much luck with my rides. But I got it out of the way today and it means a lot to me to be the only record holder now.

"As you know, it was not easy being a leading apprentice in New Zealand where it's a lot tougher.

"I still want to reach that score (57) with just Singapore winners - and I think I can hopefully ride up to 70 winners by the end of the year."

A'Isisuhairi's 57 winners included three wins at a recent one-day visit to Kuala Lumpur. It was the first time he had ridden in his country of birth.

Beaming with pride, Burridge was one of the first to congratulate his apprentice, hailed as the new standard-bearer for MRA apprentices, as A'Isisuhairi headed back to scales.

"It's all about Harry. I'm glad I gave him the winner to break the record," said the Australian conditioner.

"The owners have been patient with this horse as he's given us a few troubles, but Harry gave him a 10-out-of-10 ride and he let down for a nice win."


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