Racing: Harry's the man

Racing: Harry's the man

Friday night was the spectacular Joao Moreira Show, with the three-time Singapore champion achieving an unimaginable eight from-eight record at Kranji.

On Sunday, although the highriding Brazilian continued his winning ways with two winners from 10 rides, the hype was on leading apprentice A'Isisuhairi Kasim.

Affectionately known as "Harry" Kasim in his early riding days in Australasia, the in-form 28-year-old booted home three winners to come within a nose of equalling a record of another kind.

The Kelantan-born, Kranjibased rider is now just one winner short of Benny Woodworth's Malayan Racing Association record of 56 winners by an apprentice in 1995.

The treble has brought his Kranji total to 52 winners and his MRA tally to 55 with his three winners in Kuala Lumpur last month.

He was the only other rider to have won a race on Friday, in the claiming riders event on Real Steel. Moreira sat out that race.

Interestingly, all three of A'Isisuhairi's winners yesterday led all the way.

After sitting out the first three races, he started his day with a bang aboard the David Koktrained newcomer MAC VOLKS in Race 4.

He led by no more than a length early from Naomi but, in the straight, he made it a onehorse race by kicking home by 4¾ lengths in the Initiation event over 1,100m on the Polytrack.

After an unplaced ride on American Vision in Race 5, he came back "bang-bang" aboard CASINO KING in Race 6 and TIGER MASTER in Race 7.

He rated Casino King well, again relaxing his mount nicely and then making a go of it at the top of the straight.

His Patrick Shaw-trained mount eventually bolted home by four lengths in the Class 5 race over 1,700m on the Polytrack.

It was also evident that Casino King was a class dropper (from Class 4) and benefited from the soft lead.

A'Isisuhairi was made to work harder on the Sonny Yeoh-trained Tiger Master, who staved off Chinese Culture by half a length in the Class 3 race over 1,600m on turf.

Moreira was very unlucky in that race. His mount, The Rude Warrior, encountered heavy traffic and had to change course a few times and, when he got clear, he ran home at 100 kmh but could only manage a third, just a nose behind the runner-up. He should have won the race.

From his last three rides, A'Isisuhairi's best was a fourth on the $15 favourite South Gate in Harry's the man Treble brings leading rookie to just one shy of Woodworth's 56-winner MRA record Race 8.

Since returning from New Zealand late last year and being indentured to trainer Steven Burridge at Kranji, A'Isisuhairi has been riding winners with clockwork regularity in his first fullseason this year.

On July 19, he broke 2011 champion rookie Shafiq Rusof's Kranji record of 37 winners on Ktronic.

He went on to ride three more winners - Indulge, One Smart Cat and Sulmona - to cap a memorable day in his fledgling career.

When receiving a memento from the Singapore Turf Club for winning last month's Asian Young Guns competition at his former arena, Te Rapa, in New Zealand, A'Isisuhairi said he was after Woodworth's feat.

But he would be more focused on achieving it with his Kranji victories. He said: "Yeah, I'm after that record. Hopefully, I'll try this record just riding in Singapore.

Growing confidence

"Things have been going very well here. I would like to say thanks to everyone who have supported me, especially my boss Mr Burridge - he's the one who has always looked after me - to the trainers who have supported me with nice rides and to the owners who have given me the opportunities riding their horses. Things have just been going great here."

He admitted that with the winners came the confidence.

"Look, to ride four winners in a day, for the first time, I couldn't believe it, you know, and I think I did it three times," he said.

"I know it's tough to ride a winner in Singapore and four in a day was an amazing feeling and my confidence just grew and grew, just like you see Joao rode on Friday.

"As soon as he rode the first couple of winners, his confidence carried on to the last race."

The Singapore Turf Club's riding master, Damien Kinninmont, said A'Isisuhairi's New Zealand experience "really has been a big benefit to him".

He added: "Steven Burridge is managing his career very well, giving the opportunities to Harry.

Harry has had the opportunities to ride in some Group 1 races and a lot of apprentices don't get the opportunities to do that.

"As far as ability, Harry mixes with the best riders here at the moment. We've got some of the best riders here, we've got the current best apprentice and we've got the best jockey in the world. Can't have better than that."

As for the "best jockey in the world", Moreira carried his winning ways from Friday to yesterday by taking the first race on allthe- way winner BALLY BOY.

He was third on his second ride, Mechanic John in Race 2, before scoring again in Race 3 aboard IRISH REBEL, who came from midfield to win.

His next seven rides yielded three seconds, a third and a fourth.

His season's tally now stands at 150 winners, 56 behind his record total last year and the current season still has about four months to go.

Another history-making feat at season's end?

You bet, at the rate he is riding winners.

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