Apprentice Krisna to make debut tomorrow

Malaysian rider to ride Southern Dragon for his new master, trainer Ricardo Le Grange

Krisna Kumar Thangamani is the new apprentice jockey for the Ricardo Le Grange yard and will be unveiled for his Kranji riding debut tomorrow.

The 24-year-old, who has been granted a licence by the Singapore Turf Club from Aug 1 to Oct 31 and listed as T Krisna in the race card, has been in Singapore for a month.

He has often been seen riding trackwork and at barrier trials, mostly for Le Grange. His first Kranji ride is SOUTHERN DRAGON for the South African handler in the last race, the $60,000 Any Humour 2009 Stakes which is a Class 4 race over 1,400m.

The former Kuala Lumpur-based apprentice jockey moved down South on the recommendation of Penang trainer Sharee Hamilton even though he was actually indentured to Richard Lines.

Krisna, 24, hails from Penang but moved to the Malaysian capital for better opportunities. He, however, does ride for New Zealand-born Hamilton whenever he goes back to his hometown.

"It's Sharee who recommended me to Mr Le Grange. He was looking for a new apprentice jockey after Mohd Firdaus left," said Krisna.

"It's the dream of every apprentice jockey to ride in Singapore and, when the opportunity came up, it was like a dream come true.

"I have to say a big 'thank you' to my boss Richard Lines for letting me go, but also to Sharee for her help."

Krisna, whose other passion is football, said he took up racing through his uncle, who is a farrier in Penang.

"Since I was of small size, my uncle suggested I become a jockey. That's how I started," said Krisna, who has 23 winners under his belt, and is still fifth on the Malaysian apprentice jockey's log on seven winners.

"I learned a lot in Kuala Lumpur, but this is a new chapter in my riding career, and I'm really excited at the opportunity.

"I'd like to thank Mr Le Grange for giving me my first ride this Sunday. Southern Dragon seems to be a nice horse.

"The only question mark is his barrier 12 from 12, but I will go out there and try my best. I hope he runs well."

The other new rookie granted a licence by the Singapore Turf Club for the similar period is Zyrul Shahryszal Nor Azman.

A former Singapore Training Academy for Racing graduate, Zyrul or Zy as he is better known, began his racing career in December 2009 as a track rider for trainer Sonny Yeoh before becoming a C apprentice jockey and moving to Bruce Marsh in October 2013.

Zyrul moved to New Zealand in March 2015 as part of a Singapore Turf Club Apprentice Jockey overseas attachment licensed by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR). 

Over there, the 29-year-old Singaporean has won 29 races all up from more than 400 rides, including four at Premier level, with the highlight being the 2015 JRA Trophy.

Zyrul goes to scale at 50kg.