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Lucky number 12 Sacred Gold brings up Perkins’ first Singapore win

3 minute read

After 10 unsuccessful rides in Singapore, French jockey Charles Perkins got off the mark aboard Sacred Gold easily in the $20,000 Maiden race (1200m) on Sunday.

SACRED GOLD winning the MAIDEN Picture: Singapore Turf Club

The 36-year-old jockey was one of three jockeys who opted to ply their trades in Singapore after the Macau Jockey Club ran their last races at Taipa racecourse on March 30 and has since ceased operation. 

While eight-time Macau champion jockey Luis Corrales has yet to win a race in Singapore since the trio began their riding stints in Singapore on 13 April, jockey Ruan Maia has bagged four wins thus far and Perkins, who took out the last race in Macau, welcomed his first winner, Sacred Gold, for trainer Jerome Tan.

Perkins sat the four-year-old son of Duramente a distant second behind leader Wins Eight (Mohd Zaki), who ran the first 400m sectionals in a quick 23.81secs.

It was Perkins' first race ride on Sacred Gold but having partnered him in morning gallops four times in the week, he knew what he had underneath, and that the leader would come back. Patience paid off when Perkins niggled Sacred Gold at the 300m and the $41 shot quickly sprinted past the tiring leader at the 200m before winning by three-and-a-quarter lengths on the line.

Favourite Flying Fighter  (Manoel Nunes) rushed home late to run second. Bureaucrat (Zyrul Nor Azman) finished another two lengths away in third. The winning time was 1 min 12.32secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.

A winner of more than 220 races in Macau since he made his debut at the former Portuguese colony in 2012, Perkins was already upbeat about Sacred Gold 's chances before the race, and his confidence could have been further boosted when saddle cloth no. 12 was placed on his mount.

"I thought he's a winning chance and he's got no.12 today, which is my lucky number. I just like this number, no special reason," said Perkins, who had his wife, Anais, by his side at the winner's stall.

"I had no plans after Macau (Jockey Club closed), so I thought I'd try my luck here. It had been a bit frustrating because I was successful in Macau but I couldn't get rides here.

"I saw the one in front (Wins Eight) went very fast. I just wanted my horse to travel well and not rush him because with the pace, I was sure they will 'die' (come back). I told myself to be patient and go from there.

"I didn't know it would be fast paced, but I knew I had to be on the speed because it's a sprinting race and he's got the speed. When I picked him up, he ran very well.

"I rode him in trackwork every morning for four days. I told him (Tan) I have a good feeling about this horse, so I told him to give the ride to me.

"I'm very happy and I thank the trainer for the opportunity. Hopefully, I can get more rides from here.

"I'm not sure about my plans yet after Singapore, but I'm also slowly starting to think about it."

Tan gave Perkins the ride and was glad the Raffles Racing Stable-owned gelding finally broke the duck at his 14th start.

"I didn't know him (Perkins) before he came here but I gave him the ride. Good win for him," said the Singaporean handler.

"He (Perkins) told me he's (Sacred Gold) got a good chance. The owners brought this horse from Japan and he's been with me since July last year.

"I told him (Perkins) to sit and jump well and ride him wherever he's comfortable.

"I'll look for a Class 5 race for him next. 1200m suits him."

With that first win and three placings in 14 starts, Sacred Gold has taken his earnings to over $20,000 for connections.

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