SINGAPORE - "Harry" Kasim had a smile as wide as the turf track when he crossed the line on WILD GEESE to win the $350,000 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kranji yesterday evening.
It was a great result - and a great ride - from the young hoop, who last season topped the apprentice ranks with a string of winners.
In fairness, the current season hadn't been a great one for him. Until only recently, his winners had been few and far between.
Until yesterday, that is, when he rode a copybook, front-running race on Wild Geese to land his second Singapore Group 2 victory in fine style.
Last season, Kasim tasted Group victory when he steered Trudeau to lift the EW Barker Trophy.
Small wonder the jockey was over the moon after the weigh-in. "This is so special," he gushed. "I'm so happy to have won this for Dr KC Tan. He was the one who gave me my first Kranji winner and he kept the faith with me by offering me the ride on Wild Geese."
Pointing to his racing silks - the yellow and purple squares of Hippocrates Stable, Kasim added: "I'm so proud to wear these colours."
Asked to look back on the race, Kasim said: "I was happy to let my mount lead and I was surprised that no one took us on. Well, they came at me from the top of the straight and that got me a little worried.
"So I woke up my mount and, with the finish in sight I knew we were not going to be caught. Yes, this is so special."
Kasim jumped Wild Geese out cleanly at the 2,000m start and when the field passed the grandstand the first time, he had a length on Bendicion, Cash Luck and Johnny Guitar.