Racing

In-form Munro levels up with Duric

English jockey kicks home six winners in the last two race days to share the lead with Duric on 32 winners

A haul of six winners in the space of two meetings has vaulted bang-in-form jockey Alan Munro to second spot on the Singapore premiership ladder.

Fifth on 26 winners before the weekend's hostilities, the English hoop kicked home a double on KOKONI and PLATOON on Friday night, followed by a quartet of winners through HUMDINGER, SECRET SQUIRREL, KUBERA'S CHIEF and WONDERFUL ERA on Sunday.

32 WINNERS

Munro now shares the same number of winners as Vlad Duric on 32 winners, but remained in second spot on a countback for seconds.

The low-key jockey is, however, not reading too much into the prolific day or the sudden surge in form.

"In racing, you have the good runs and the bad runs. Right now, things are going well for me and long it may last," said the English Derby-winning jockey.

In his seventh season in Singapore, Munro, who has ridden around the world with success, notably Hong Kong, Japan and Qatar, has always figured at the top end at Kranji, never worse than sixth, with a third place on 79 winners in 2013 his best finish.

"In racing, you have the good runs and the bad runs. Right  now, things are going well for me and long it may last."Jockey Alan Munro, on his recent good trot

What makes his performance even more commendable is the fact he is not the No. 1 rider for any powerful stable or any particular stable for that matter, though he does tend to be the go-to man for trainer Hideyuki Takaoka.

Besides, Sunday's four winners came for four different trainers - Bruce Marsh (Humdinger), John O'Hara (Secret Squirrel), Leslie Khoo (Kubera's Chief) and Leticia Dragon (Wonderful Era).

All up, he has racked up a total of 336 winners.

Munro said all his winners were well prepared, and he was just the lucky pilot, including getting a first seat on Secret Squirrel, the even-money favourite in the $35,000 Open Maiden race over the Polytrack 1,100m.

Not one to expound on his winners, Munro would still make it a point to sum up the ride in his short and sweet style.

"I first rode Secret Squirrel in his barrier trial and he was very stressed," he said about the Exceed And Excel four-year-old, who is normally ridden by the currently suspended Troy See.

"But he was not stressed today and he won a nice race."

O'Hara was delighted he had picked the right man for the steering job on Secret Squirrel.

"Finally, a win from this horse, but I have to say Munro gave him the perfect ride. The horse got a good tow into the straight, and when he pressed the button, he let down very well," said the Singaporean trainer.

"This horse has been knocking on the door for a while, and he deserves to get a win for his owners (Fraternity Stable), including Kenneth Lim."

Punted down to $10 favouritism, Secret Squirrel, who was at his sixth start, enjoyed an ideal run in transit, one-out one-back behind race-leader D'Great Star (Saifudin Ismail), with Divergent (Glen Boss) as cover for most of the journey.

As Munro peeled his mount across the two leaders at the 400m mark, the stage was all set for a three-horse go.

D'Great Star and Divergent stuck it out, but it was Secret Squirrel on the outside who eventually gained the upperhand before pulling away to a one-and-a-quarter-length win from D'Great Star.

Divergent did well to stay on for third, a length away.

The winning time was 1min 05.1sec.

 

Racing