Racing

Family matters rule top rookie Simon Kok out for a month

Back-to-back champion apprentice jockey Simon Kok, who did not ride on the first two days of the new racing season, will have to miss the whole month of action at Kranji due to family matters.

His master, trainer Steven Burridge, said that his protege had to rush to his Ipoh hometown to be by his gravely ill grandfather's bedside.

The 25-year-old should be back next Monday but would have to serve a 14-day quarantine because of the Covid-19 regulations.

"On the day we were supposed to have Christmas lunch, he found out his grandfather's condition had deteriorated. He had to cancel the lunch to drive up to Ipoh," said Burridge.

"He recently let us know he will come back on Jan 18, but because he has to serve a two-week quarantine, he will miss the whole month of January.

"He should be back riding in races at the first meeting of February."

Kok, a former showjumper, was crowned top rookie for the second successive time at the recently concluded 2020 racing season with 34 winners, including Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup victor Big Hearted.

In 2019 - his second season - he missed the first three months with a short stint in Tasmania, but quickly made up for lost time to career away to his first title with 35 winners.

HORSE RACING