Birthday blues for See
Kranji's top apprentice loses race in Stewards Room
A Singaporean lad and Kranji-based Mauritian jockey provided the drama on the first day of the Air Mauritius & Attitude International Weekend 2018 in Mauritius on Saturday.
The two jockeys, Troy See and Nooresh Juglall, were astride the first two horses past the post in the Zilwa Attitude Cup.
See was on Ouzo while Juglall was on board Bonnie Prince.
Anyway, the drama wasn't just the race - but the aftermath.
See thought he had been presented with the best gift for his 30th birthday when Ouza beat off Bonnie Prince in the fifth event on the card.
After all, it would have been See's first win at his first international jockeys' challenge.
But Juglall fired in a protest for alleged interference in the home straight. The head-on video did show that there was a bit of a bumping duel between the two horses inside the last 100m. And with Ouzo's winning margin being razor-thin, the objection was upheld.
Among those who were waiting in the wings to lead in Ouzo was Liverpool legend Ian Rush, who was in Mauritius as a guest owner.
It was heartbreak for See, but he was sporting in defeat."His horse checked me at the line, and that should have squared it off," See reasoned. "That was my main defence, but I lost. Still, I'd rather lose the race to him than anybody else. He may be Mauritian but he's like one of ours."
Juglall, who was at a race-to-race double after saluting earlier on board In Your Dreams, was a touch apologetic at the post-race interview.
"I'm sorry Troy, it's racing, but I'm also here to deliver the goods," said Juglall.
"If you watch the head-on, at the top of the straight, we were quite clear of each other, but coming to the last 150m, he shifted into my horse and bumped my horse on numerous occasions. The Stewards made the right decision."
See ended up not winning any race in Mauritius, with a late neck injury compounding his misery further on Sunday, forcing him to stand down from his last two rides.
He pulled a neck muscle when his fifth ride at the second Leg of the International Jockeys' Weekend, The Thinker, stumbled out of the gates. He would finish fourth.
Meanwhile, Juglall fared much better. He booted home a third winner before his home crowd on Sunday. That, after scoring a double on Saturday.
He finished third on 31 points, three points behind eventual champion Maxime Guyon. Second on the log at the halfway point, hopes of a first title soared for the Mauritian jockey when he won aboard Overdose in Race 4, but he could not chalk up more points after that in the next three races.
Guyon, too, could not add more wins to the treble from Saturday, but a couple of placings helped him beat fellow Frenchman Aurelien Lemaitre by a solitary point.