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First double on a day puts Rozlan on top

3 minute read

Apprentice jockey Rozlan Nazam sits on top of the apprentice jockey’s log for the first time thanks to his double on Saturday.

STOP THE WATER winning the PENNYWISE 2019 STAKES RESTRICTED MAIDEN Picture: Singapore Turf Club

Indentured to trainer Ricardo Le Grange, Rozlan sat on nine wins before the meeting, one less than fellow apprentice jockey Jerlyn Seow, but he quickly fired in two wins atop Stop The Water and Great Command, bringing his season tally to 11 wins.

Seow almost hit back with Akhtar later but was nosed out by Sacred Gift on the line. She will, however, miss the last two meetings on 17 and 30 December and the New Year Cup meeting on 6 January for careless riding on Superior Coat last Saturday.

Rozlan knew he cannot take things lightly, even if there are only three meetings left to go.

"Too early to tell. I have to keep working hard," said the Singaporean apprentice jockey, who began riding in July last year.

"I'll try to go for the title, but I'd be happy if Jerlyn wins it because we're good friends and we never had a female champion apprentice jockey here before.

"It's thanks to my light weight (46kgs) that I won on Great Command. I will miss my four-kilo claim!"

Great Command ($48) staved off Southern Speed, who carried nine-and-a-half kilos more, to score in the $50,000 Nova Strike 2017 Stakes, a Class 4 Division 2 race (1200m). The four-kilo claimer will only be allowed to claim three kilos from the next meeting onwards as he has clocked in more than 10 wins.

Of his first winner, Stop The Water , in the $75,000 Pennywise 2019 Stakes, a Restricted Maiden race (1200m), Rozlan followed riding instructions closely and only let the Headwater three-year-old motor home in the last two furlongs.

"(Jockey) Matthew (Kellady) rode him a bit too rushed at his last start, so today, (trainer) Steven (Burridge) said to jump and if possible, let him go forward fast," he said.

"After we took the lead, I hugged the horse, kept him settled and reserved as much (energy) as I can because he's on the Long Course.

"At the 400m, I started to wriggle on him, gave him a slap on the shoulder and he went on from there.

"It was my second ride for Steven but that's my first win for him."

Punted down to $13 favouritism upon jumping, Stop The Water led early on the rails but Lim's Jinba (A'Isisuhairi Kasim) took over the lead momentarily after he coursed out wide at the 850m.

Even so, Rozlan sat unfazed in the saddle as the field turned for home. Into the straight, Lim's Jinba and Flying Success (Iskandar Rosman) started to give chase while Fire (Vitor Espindola) made quick inroads on the outside.

But, the ground-saving run Rozlan gave Stop The Water helped in the last 300m as he was seen drawing clear from his rivals, albeit still a bit green at the end.

Fire finished two lengths away in second while Flying Success ran another one-and-a-half lengths away in third. The winning time was 1 min 10.24secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.

Burridge, who bagged a treble after Shihab ($11) and My Determination ($28) also scored in the $20,000 Daniel 2016 Stakes, a Maiden race (1400m) and $30,000 Johnny Guitar 2014 Stakes, a Class 5 race (1600m) respectively later on, praised Rozlan for his patient handling of the Fairdeal & Ronald Lau Stable-owned gelding.

"I've had quite a few seconds for (owner) Theresa (Lee) lately, so it was nice to get a win for her," said the veteran Australian conditioner.

"We carried 52.5kgs the other day (25 November) and he's only a small horse (484kgs). I was going to put (jockey) Matthew (Kellady) on but he had a ride (Lim's Teton), so I thought 'why not claim?' The boy (Rozlan) rides quite nicely and she was happy to put him on.

"I sat him in yesterday, showed him the videos and told him about the horse. He listened quickly and it's always good when they (apprentice jockeys) win.

"He settled him nicely. I told him to wait till the 400m if he (Stop The Water) was travelling because he's a bit of a suspect over the trip.

"He stacked them up nicely. I was a little worried when the other horse (Lim's Jinba) took him on but given he also backed up in seven days, he's done a good job.

"He had a hard run the other day (second to Aniki) and he wouldn't run (this time) if he hadn't eaten up well.

"(Bloodstock agent) Blake Ryan mentioned the horse to (jockey) Vlad (Duric), he mentioned to Theresa and she bought the horse."

Bought for A$38,000 as a yearling, Stop The Water has opened his account second-up and took his earnings to over $40,000 for connections.

Singapore Turf Club

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