Maia looking for another lap of honour on Circuit

Brazilian jockey Ruan Maia will get a chance to repeat his Group-winning feat aboard Circuit Land next week.

Maia looking for another lap of honour on Circuit

Brazilian jockey Ruan Maia will get a chance to repeat his Group-winning feat aboard Circuit Land next week.

Circuit Land
Circuit Land Picture:Singapore Turf Club

The Macau-based jockey has been booked to ride the US-bred seven-year-old in next Sunday’s $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1800m), six months after he guided the same horse to victory in the Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) in a similar pitstop mission.

It was indeed mission accomplished for the 30-year-old jockey who was riding for the first time in Singapore. In spite of a tough run out wide with no cover, the Lee Freedman-trained son of Mizzen Mast fought out a gutsy head-win from Infantry.

A former four-time winner in Hong Kong, Circuit Land has yet to salute again at Kranji, but save for his unplaced run in the Group 1 Kranji Mile one month after his Chairman’s Trophy triumph, he was never disgraced thereafter in Group company.

His latest narrow short head second (with Hugh Bowman up) to Debt Collector in the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1600m), the first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series, of which the QEII Cup is the second Leg, was another testament to the high calibre of horses he can mix it with in Singapore.

Owner Dey Ngo Tai Tak, who is inclined to use overseas jockeys on Circuit Land Horseform – he used Kranji-based riders only twice, Craig Grylls (on debut) and Vlad Duric (third in the Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy) - certainly thought so. He is hoping the return in the saddle of the only jockey to have won on him at Kranji would bring the same rub of the green in the QEII Cup.

Maia, who has in the meantime raced away to his first Macau champion jockey title at his first full season in the former Portuguese enclave, needed no second invitation when Ngo came a-calling again.

“I was again invited through the same friend who knows the owner. I’m very excited for this second opportunity, as I really enjoyed my time in Singapore and to win the Group 2 race was even more special,” said Maia, whose one-day licence is still subject to the Licensing Committee’s approval.

“I saw his last race when he nearly won. The horse is in good form and I can’t wait to ride him again.”

While Maia came for just the solitary ride on Circuit Land at his maiden Kranji visit, he is hoping for less idle time in the jockeys’ room this time around.

“I hope I can get more rides in the other races this time,” said Maia who plans to arrive in Singapore on Saturday as they race in Macau on Friday night.

“Last season was great. I won in Singapore and also won the champion jockey title.

“The new season just started and I’m on top on four winners, one ahead of Luis Corrales and two ahead of Oscar Chavez.”

Freedman, who oversaw Circuit Land’s last barrier trial on Thursday, when fourth to Faaltless under his apprentice jockey Iskandar Rosman, was delighted to have Maia reunited with Circuit Land.

“Ruan is the only jockey to have won on him here. It’s a good choice for sure,” said Freedman.

“The horse is in good shape. We never put any pressure on him in his trials and I was happy with the run.”
Singapore Turf Club

Latest Stories