Sports

Noh ready for Young Guns Challenge

S NOH: Will be riding in the final meeting at Clairwood Racecourse in South Africa.

Apprentice jockey Noh Senari has been selected to fly the Singapore flag at the annual Asian Young Guns Challenge in South Africa on Aug 2.

The sixth renewal of the popular apprentice series launched by Victoria Racing Club in 2009 will also share the platform of a sad event in South African racing, as it will coincide with the final meeting at Clairwood Racecourse after 93 years.

Noh, who has long led the Singapore apprentice jockey's lead only to drop to second spot, two wins behind reigning champion A'Isisuhairi "Harry" Kasim in recent weeks, leaves for Durban on July 28, on Hari Raya Puasa night. He will be accompanied by Singapore Turf Club master of apprentices Damien Kinninmont.

"I'm proud to represent Singapore at this series. I've long heard about it and always wanted to take part in it," said Noh.

"I hope I can do Singapore proud and bring the trophy home like Harry did last year. Even if I don't, I will still learn a lot from that first overseas experience."

First hosted by Australia at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne in August 2009, the Asian Young Guns Challenge moves to other countries in Asia or Oceania.

A'Isisuhairi remains the only Singapore-based apprentice to have claimed the title when he won in New Zealand last year.

Designed to provide young emerging jockeys an opportunity to pit their skills against each other, the series, which began with Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan as the pioneering countries in 2009, has grown in popularity. New Zealand, Malaysia, Macau, South Korea have joined over the years, with Mauritius the latest addition this year.

Other Singapore apprentice jockeys to have ridden at the Asian Young Guns Challenge are Mark Ewe, the late Jacky Low, Koh Teck Huat and Shafiq Rizuan.

The list of apprentice jockeys riding this year are:

Jye McNeil (Australia), Dicky Lui (Hong Kong), Ryu Abe (Japan), Rory Hutchings (New Zealand), Tham Kin Chong (Malaysia), Chon Fong Wong (Macau), Chan Ho Lee (South Korea) and Akash Aucharuz (Mauritius).