Racing

It's red-hot Maia and his Magnificent Seven

Kranji Mile-winning Brazilian jockey takes his season's tally to 29 winners

When you're hot, you're hot. That goes for Brazilian jockey Ruan Maia.

Only a week earlier, the 32-year-old captured the $1 million Group 1 Kranji Mile aboard Aramaayo. Yesterday, he was in unstoppable form, booting home seven winners.

He was just one winner short of fellow Brazilian Joao Moreira's feat, but The Magic Man's score on Sept 6, 2013, was eight winners from eight rides.

Maia rode in all but Race 5 in the card of 14 yesterday.

His seven-timer has sprung him to 29 winners for the season, closing in to 10 winners behind three-time Singapore champion Vlad Duric, who drew a blank from 10 mounts.

"It's amazing. I never rode seven winners before," said Maia. "I've ridden four in Macau, three or four times, and twice in Brazil.

"I had only a few doubles in Singapore, and now, all of a sudden, seven. It's amazing."

Former Singapore riding great Saimee Jumaat, now a trainer, also rode seven winners once, on Aug 2, 2009.

Maia was quick off the mark by landing a hat-trick in the first three races with El Chapo ($57), The Mareeba Mango ($11) and newcomer Moon Face ($13) respectively.

He then completed two sets of running double - Meryl ($24) in Race 9 and Ararat Lady ($25) in Race 10, followed by Elite Power ($23) in Race 13 and Gamely ($26) in Race 14.

A winner of nearly 600 races and a two-time champion in Macau, Maia boasts four Group 1 wins in his nativeland.

In Macau, where he plied his trade from 2016 to last year, he claimed his first Group 1 silverware - the Macau Gold Cup on River Control in 2018.

Last year, he added the Group 1 Chairman's Challenge Cup with Mister Kaopu.

At his first Kranji raid in April 2018, he steered the Lee Freedman-trained Circuit Land to win the Group 2 Chairman's Trophy. He was lured back for other hit-and-run missions, but those big races in the Lion City eluded him.

Now on a full one-year licence from Jan 1, he won the Group 1 Kranji Mile with Aramaayo.

The Mareeba Mango, his second winner yesterday, ripened after his debut second three weeks ago, to score a convincing four-length victory.

Trained by Lee Freedman, who won the Group 2 Merlion Trophy with $130 outsider Excelling, the four-year-old chestnut Australian-bred put the issue beyond doubt once Maia took him to the front on straightening.

Despite being eased down close home, his mount won the Restricted Maiden (1) event over the 1,200m on turf in 1min 09.64sec, just 0.04sec outside the class record.

HORSE RACING