Bittersweet South African trip for Juglall
Juglall's South Africa adventure
Kranji jockey Nooresh Juglall may not have landed the main prize at South Africa's biggest race day last Saturday, but he did not return home empty-handed.
The Mauritian rider and 25-1 shot Safe Harbour could only beat one home (17 from 18) in the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July (2,200m) which was won by Marinaresco (Bernard Fayd'Herbe) in a close finish.
But, one race earlier, Juglall was triumphant aboard 14-1 chance Purple Diamond, who held off the fast-finishing Ancestry (Fayd'Herbe) by a whisker to land the $63,000 Grade 2 Durban Golden Slipper (1,400m) a two-year-old feature.
"It was a great honour to be given the opportunity to ride in my hometown again, especially at such a prestigious event," said Juglall.
"I didn't win the big race, but it was a great thrill to still win a Grade 2 race, which was a Grade 1 race when I was still riding in South Africa.
"The colt (Purple Diamond) travelled in a nice spot on the rails in fifth spot. At the top of the straight, I thought of going to the outside for a second but changed my mind and stuck to the inside.
"Luckily for me, the gap came up. He took a bit of time to unwind in the straight and, when the other horse came up to me, I got a bit worried, but my horse has got a big heart and he dug down deep, and I'm sure he's got a great future in front of him."
Booked on 10 rides all-up, including one pick-up ride, Juglall came up with a third place on Bella Sonata in the Grade 1 Garden Province Stakes over 1,600m.
It was, however, not all good news for Juglall, as besides not coming up roses in the race that mattered, he also incurred the wrath of the Greyville stewards.
"I was found guilty of interference at the 1,800m mark in the July. I barely touched the other horse, but the Stewards gave me seven days (equivalent to one week in Singapore)," he said."
As Juglall is booked to ride at the Derby meeting, the suspension will be deferred to next week.