Racing

Homesick Moon bids farewell after Sunday's meeting

Eight-time South Korean champion jockey misses his two young daughters

South Korean jockey Moon Se Young will ride at his last Kranji meetings tonight and Sunday.

Moon's current three-month licence runs out on Monday.

At first, he thought of extending but, after careful consideration, he eventually changed his mind.

The 37-year-old missed his two young daughters - Doyoon, 6 and Jiwon, 3 - who stayed back in Seoul. Owners and trainers were missing him, too.

"I really enjoyed my stay in Singapore, but I miss my two daughters so much," said Moon, who hopes to pad up on his current record of four wins in 77 rides before he bows out.

TOUGH DECISION

"My wife Ryeo Jin and I went back home for a few days at the end of June. It was so hard to leave them again when we had to return to Singapore, the girls didn't want us to leave.

"I have a few owners and trainers who want me to go back to Seoul as well. It was a tough decision as I thought I was doing okay with four winners even if I didn't get the best of rides.

"But, in the end, I discussed with my wife, and we thought it would be better if we go back to Korea."

Moon is booked for three rides tonight - Major Improvement, Lokelani and Any Rumour - and two rides on Sunday - Pioneer Step and Fortune Spirit.

On paper, they do not look like prime chances, but such has been pretty much the trend for Moon since his first Singapore meeting on May 19.

The eight-time South Korean champion jockey did not boot home a winner until his fifth meeting, Thunder Cat for Alwin Tan on June 4. That was to be his only winner in June.

STRIKE RATE IMPROVED

After a short trip to see his family, he somehow improved on his strike rate on his return at the beginning of last month - three winners in the space of three weeks: Arion for Kuah Cheng Tee (July 7), Special King (a pick-up ride for Tan on July 16) and Alaranch for Kuah (July 28).

The momentum was starting to build up, but the homesick jockey had made up his mind. He has, however, not ruled out a return to Singapore one day.

"I hope I can ride a winner at my farewell weekend. Even if I don't, I will always look back on my first Singapore visit as a great time, both for its racing and the people," said Moon, who currently has his two daughters holidaying in Singapore with them before they all fly back on the same flight on Monday.

"I have made a few friends here at Kranji. People are very friendly and I also thank the Singapore Turf Club for giving me the chance to ride here.

"I hope I have left a good impression of Korean riders here as I was the first to ride here on a short-term licence.

"And thanks to all the jockeys here, both Singaporean and from around the world, they are all great horsemen.

"If I come back someday, I want to be able to compete with them in a closer fight."

Racing