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Recharged Rehaizat dedicates comeback win to Triple A kids

If the ride on Sun Hoplites on August 3, 2018 felt to Tengku Rehaizat like a second birth, the win on Salamence on Good Friday would then be his second baptism of fire.

Recharged Rehaizat dedicates comeback win to Triple A kids

If the ride on Sun Hoplites on August 3, 2018 felt to Tengku Rehaizat like a second birth, the win on Salamence on Good Friday would then be his second baptism of fire.

Sun Hoplites was the Singaporean jockey’s first race-ride since he was disqualified for one year for his ride on Roan Ranger in August 2015.


The horse trained by his former master Desmond Koh was not expected to win on that milestone day for the 2012 Singapore champion apprentice jockey – and he did run accordingly.

But it didn’t matter to the 32-year-old father of three who had been taking on odd jobs as a delivery man during his time on the outer. He had regained a ticket to ride he thought would never be his again - and the rest was up to him.

Eight months and 46 rides later, the win counter that had stopped at 82 since 2015 (High Troja for Mohd Yusof on July 17) had, however, not flicked off again.

While he knew it would be no bed of roses at that second coming, self-doubt had crept in as the winless days kept stretching, not to mention the slow conveyances he was being thrown on.

Until trainer Daniel Meagher gave him a leg-up on a live chance in Friday’s $20,000 Open Maiden race over 1200m, Salamence who was specked down to $22 before the off.

The first two-thirds of the race was not shaping up all that well, though. The Foxwedge three-year-old had nowhere to go, hemmed in on the fence around four lengths off the leader Martello (Mohd Firdaus) and was even off the bridle at some stage.

But the complexion all changed when Salamence Horseform was peeled out for his charge to the post at the top of the straight. Once he had clear galloping room on the outside of Well Deserved (Riduan Abu Bakar), he rounded up the field like they were tacked to the ground, going on to street them by just under six lengths.

Behind, I Am Invisible (Daniel Moor) won the battle for the minors with Stageshow (Michael Rodd) third another 2 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 12.23secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.

“I got a big monkey off my back. This is for my Triple A kids – not the batteries!” said an elated Rehaizat as he dedicated the win to his three children, Adhyean, Aura and Ayra.

“I really felt like crying shortly after I crossed the line. It’s been eight months since I came back and before that I was out of racing for three long years - I’ve been to hell and back.”

Regaining his composure, Rehaizat said he had never lost faith in his ability despite the hard times. It was just a matter of getting the right horse to showcase it.

“To be honest, I didn’t know much about the horse, but I did speak to his last rider, Benny (Woodworth), and he just told me to ride a patient race on that horse,” he said.

“I didn’t plan to be so far back. He was off the bit for a while as well, but once I brought him out at the 400m and he saw daylight, he did everything by himself.

“I ride trackwork for Dan a fair bit and I’m grateful to him for putting me on this horse. I think he can go up to 1400m no problem.”

Meagher was indeed over the moon for Rehaizat, a jockey he does throw a bone at since his comeback last year.

“It wasn’t the strongest race, and this horse has run against better horses,” said the Australian handler.

“He’s a Foxwedge but the mare (Infinito) has won over ground. When I bought him, I thought he would get 1400m and even a mile one day.

“It’s great for Tengku - he’s a great young bloke with three kids, and it was good to put him on and see him do it today.

“He didn’t rush the horse and they got the chocolates.”


Singapore Turf Club




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