Sports

Rodd ready for his Kranji debut

- PHOTO: STC

Top Australian jockey Michael Rodd knows only too well what is expected of him if he is to turn his short three-month Singapore contract into a longer-haul proposition - ride winners.

The New South Wales-born but Melbourne-based rider (above) arrived in Singapore on Christmas day and was already seen at Kranji making himself available for trackwork, both for networking and fitness purposes.

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Granted, the Melbourne Cup-winning Rodd (Efficient in 2007) is a household name which Australian and New Zealand trainers at Kranji needed little introduction to as they went around snapping him up at the opening weekend of the new 2015 season, but his early arrival at his new stomping ground was certainly no stranger to his healthy book of 17 rides split between today (seven) and Sunday (10).

"I came in last Thursday as I wanted to hit the ground running and take a good look around," said the 32-year-old jockey who rode once at Kranji in 2010 at the Singapore Airlines International Cup meeting when he piloted Gold Trail to fourth in the KrisFlyer International Sprint.

"I also wanted to get some fitness going because of the humidity. Last time I was here for just one night, but it's different this time as I'll have to see how my body responds to the new place for a longer time.

"Obviously, it helps that there are a lot of Australian and New Zealand trainers here, but there are still a few things I need to learn, like the form of horses and the way races are run here.

"Still, I was pretty happy with the book of rides I got this week and I think I have a couple of chances."

Rodd, who was joined by wife Cara last Sunday, would not pinpoint which horses in particular but hopes any could turn provider of that much-needed ice-breaker sooner rather than later.

"I'll see how things go, but I sure would like to ride as many winners as possible in the three months I am here to hopefully look at an extended period after that," said the 600-race winner, including 31 at Group 1 level.

"Ever since I rode here four years ago, I've always wanted to come back and ride on a longer term and I thought now is the best time to test the waters when I'm still young and don't have any children - and don't have a stable or owner holding me there."