Racing

Win Certainly came at the right time for Nuh

Rookie breaks the duck as wife is about to give birth to fourth child

The date Oct 29, 2017, is a day apprentice jockey Nuh Komari will remember for a long time.

The 31-year-old had been anxiously waiting for the last race, where he was booked for his only ride of the day on a horse named Certainly.

Not that he had high hopes that his 24th career ride would give him that dream first career win. But because he wanted the race to be over and done with so he could dash to the hospital where his wife was about to give birth to their fourth child.

It would seem the stork did not make only one delivery.

Nuh knew four-time winner Certainly was no slouch, but he thought the 1,200m of the $60,000 Open Benchmark 67 race would be a touch sharp for the middle-distance performer, first-up from a two-month spell.

Pundits seemed to think alike too, but the $391 bolter popped up between runners to give Nuh that first sweet taste of victory.

Nothing beats the excitement of fatherhood even if Nuh already had two sons and one daughter, but crossing the line for the first time was just as exhilarating. The small-built rider was a "bundle of joy" himself at the winner's circle.

"I've waited for this moment for so long. Thank you so much to everybody, first my master Cliff Brown, and also Michael Rodd and senior track rider Sabri for advising me, both in trackwork and races," said Nuh.

"I would also like to thank my parents and my wife for supporting me in my decision to become a jockey even though I had multiple spinal fractures from a trackwork fall in 2013 when I was a track rider with Bruce Marsh (since 2009).

"I was riding a horse called Zaocro Heights when I fell. I recovered, but even though I hurt myself, I told my family this is what I want to do and they supported me."

Since getting his apprentice jockey's licence six months ago, Nuh had only four thirds to show until Sunday, but with a fourth mouth to feed, a jockey needs to win races and Certainly's unexpected win in the last strides of the race will help in no small way.

Riding hands and heels, Nuh brought the Nadeem five-year-old from near-last to split the fighting duo of Big Man (John Powell) and En Civil (Azhar Ismail) for that coveted first win.

Certainly scored by half-a-length from Big Man, who beat En Civil for second place by the barest of margins.

Brown and assistant trainer Tim Fitzsimmons were full of praise for Nuh, with both men giving the rider a few pats on the back as he weighed back in.

"He's a terrific little kid, good luck to him," said Brown, who also saddled Don De La Vega to take the Restricted Maiden event over 1,400m with apprentice Amirul Ismadi astride.

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