Racing: Kranji trio win in China

Singapore jockeys took the riding honours at the first internationally- endorsed thoroughbred event in China held at Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, last Saturday.

With four international races, Joao Moreira, Danny Beasley and Soo Khoon Beng each rode a winner at the inaugural 2013 China Equine Cultural Festival Race Day, promoted by the China Horse Club and Hohhot Sports.

Soo took the feature event, the RMB 1million ($204,500) Pengxin National Breeders Cup run over 1,600m. He led all the way on Beat Of The Drum.

Moreira won the staying feature, the RMB800,000 France Galop Gold Cup over 2,000m. He was astride a former Frenchbased galloper named Surrealist.

Beasley's winner came in the RMB 500,000 Longines Mile. His mount, Nassau, was prepared by Australian trainer John Thompson.

South Africa's jockey, Gavin Lerena, was successful in the other race.

The Singapore trio arrived back from Hohhot on Sunday morning, in time for Moreira and Beasley to fulfil engagements at Kranji on Sunday afternoon.

Moreira said it was a great experience to head to Hohhot for Saturday's racing, another country the champion jockey has now been successful in.

"It was a great experience for everyone," said the Brazilian, who rode two winners at Kranji on Sunday (War Affair and Dragonfly) and will miss the next two race days to go back home for a 10-day holiday.

"It makes me very happy to have ridden a winner while I was there.

"It was a nice experience for everyone who went there and the people did a great job to get it up and running in time.

"The jockeys who went there were all very professional and, while the track was a bit different to what we are used to riding on, there were no incidents at all."

Beasley said the day was an exhibition of what the China Horse Club hopes will develop into a big horse racing venture at Tianjin next year.

"It was very different racing there," said the Australian. "With the Tianjin track not ready, the organising people had to find a track.


"Hohhot is really a private training track and it was certainly different to what we are used to riding on.

"While the racing was competitive, all the jockeys also looked after each other out there on the track and luckily there were no incidents in any of the four international races.

"There did seem to be a lot of people there. The day was an introduction to what they are working towards at Tianjin, which is going to be a big operation.

"Even if they don't get off the ground for another one or two years, I'm sure the China Horse Club is still going to be a big player in horse racing around the world for a number of years."

Get The New Paper for more stories.