David tries his luck in Singapore again, Latest Racing News

His first attempt to return to Singapore racing failed, but that did not stop South African jockey Derreck David from trying his luck again.

The 33-year-old lightweight jockey was granted a six-month licence from June 1 to Dec 31 but he failed to secure an employment pass to ride at Kranji.

The Singapore Turf Club has again issued him a licence, this time for a full season – from Jan 1 to Dec 31 next year. He is among seven expatriate jockeys to get the nod from the club.

The others are Louis-Philippe Beuzelin (France), last month’s Singapore Gold Cup-winning Danny Beasley (Australia), Singapore Derby-winning Marc Lerner (France), former three-time Singapore champion Manoel Nunes (Brazil), triple Singapore Gold Cup-winning Ronnie Stewart (Australia) and new face Jake Bayliss (Australia).

David did well when he rode for 1.5 years in Singapore in 2016 and 2017. He booted home 47 winners.

While he was not successful at Group level, he did win a sponsored race – the Racing Guide Classic – aboard Poseidon in his very first Singapore ride on March 11, 2016. His 2017 season ended four meetings earlier owing to two separate charges of careless riding.

It was a bit of a surprise that his licence was not renewed for 2018. But David harboured the hope of returning to Singapore one day.

“Thanks to everyone, trainers and owners for their support. It’s been a great journey in Singapore and I’ve learnt a lot,” said the jockey of Lebanese descent then.

“I love this place. But it’s time to move on, and I hope for bigger and better things in the future. 

“Hopefully, I can be back here one day to please the crowd again.”

A former South African champion apprentice jockey in 2009, David has exported his skills far and wide. 

He “galloped” from Zimbabwe to Dubai to Bahrain to Abu Dhabi and mostly to Mauritius, where he won the premiership in 2015.

He finished runner-up to the late Nooresh Juglall last year.

In total, he has been riding for 17 years and has notched more than 800 winners. His wins included seven at Group 1 level, in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.

His highlights were Pierre Jourdan’s two legs of the Triple Crown, the Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas and the Grade 1 SA Classic in 2010, and the Grade 2 Charity Mile in 2011.

He goes to scale at only 46kg and should be in big demand with a wider range of horses to ride.

While David has entertained Singapore racegoers with his polished riding, it will be Bayliss’ first experience here. 

The Ipswich native was born into a racing family – both his grandfathers were former trainers, his father Jamie was a former jockey and his younger brother, Regan, is a five-time Group 1-winning jockey.

Bayliss was first indentured to former Kranji-based trainer Michael Kent at Cranbourne.

He spent his first four formative years in Victoria. At the end of 2017, trainer Mike Moroney enticed him to New Zealand, where he went on to ride three Group 1 winners – Volpe Veloce in the 2018 Railway Stakes, On The Rocks in the 2019 Herbie Dyke Stakes and Nicoletta in the 2019 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes.

In nearly 10 years, Bayliss has ridden over 350 winners. Now based in Queensland, he goes to scale at 53kg.

Two Malaysian jockeys – Benny Woodworth and Amirul Ismadi – will also be making a return to Singapore for the new racing season.

Woodworth, 48, is currently riding in Macau, where he was sidelined for four months with a fractured elbow in the tragic race fall that claimed former Kranji-based jockey Juglall’s life at the first Mauritius meeting in May. 

The four-time champion apprentice jockey and one-time senior champion jockey on the Malayan Racing Association has over 1,000 winners and a host of Group successes, including the 2018 Singapore Gold Cup on Elite Invincible.

He can ride at 53kg.

Amirul, 27, moved down South to join Kranji-based New Zealand trainer Stephen Gray at the end of 2015. He rode more than 50 winners from 2016 to 2019.

However, in November 2019, his Singapore career was halted after being suspended for four months for not riding Romantic to the stewards’ satisfaction. After serving his suspension, he rode a few winners in Ipoh and Penang.

He goes to scale at 51kg.

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