Makkem Lad gives Munger farewell gift
South African jockey ends Singapore stint with $109 Logan-trained outsider
Jockey Ryan Munger may have failed to pack a silverware in his luggage for his return to South Africa, but he still received a farewell present on Saturday - courtesy of Makkem Lad.
The Donna Logan-trained $109 outsider led all the way to win by 11/4 lengths in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1,200m on turf in Race 8.
Just a week earlier, Logan also put the 25-year-old on a winning ride, Champagne Finale.
Munger, who was second in all three Group 1 legs of the Singapore Triple Crown, had hoped to win Saturday's $150,000 Group 3 Colonial Chief Stakes on the $20 favourite Sincerely. But his Michael Clements-trained mount ended up third behind Super Dynasty and Senor Don, after having every chance.
Munger left Singapore with his wife Kelsey yesterday from a stint which yielded 19 winners from 281 rides. He had 25 seconds and 23 thirds.
He did not renew his Singapore licence because he felt it hard with the drop from two Kranji race meetings a week to one after racing resumed from the pandemic, while the cost of living has remained high.
"I'm over the moon," said Munger, after Makkem Lad's victory. "I'm really stoked I've managed to ride a winner at my last meeting here.
"I've ridden my last two winners for Donna. I've put in the hard work for her in the mornings and she rewarded me with two winning rides.
"Today's ride was pretty simple. This horse has good speed and, from the 400m marker, I still had a lot of horse underneath, I was smiling.
"Even if I've never ridden him before, I knew he's always been a good horse. He ran second to Top Knight and dead-heated with Mr Malek. He had no-one challenging him today and he took it like a duck to water."
Makkem Lad was Munger's seventh of nine rides on Saturday from the card of 10.
As is his habitual racing pattern, the Kuroshio five-year-old speedster darted straight to the front.
After enjoying soft sectionals as an uncontested leader for most of the way, a fifth win was in his keeping when he spun the bend, so fluid were his strides in the run to the judge.
Still, there was always the possibility he could buckle late, not to mention the backmarkers were not going to let him give the slip so easily.
Lim's Passion, the mount of apprentice jockey Krisna Thangamani, led the charge of the light brigade.
But Makkem Lad dug his toes in and, from the way he lowered his neck and pinned his ears back, he was never going to get passed.
In the end, Lim's Passion had to be contented with the runner-up spot, 11/4 lengths away.
Moongate Star, ridden by apprentice jockey Hakim Kamaruddin, finished third, 3/4 lengths away.
Makkem Lad completed the 1,200m race on the Short Course C in 1min 09.68sec.
It was his first run since Sept 12, when he ran 11th.
"He was fresh. He has so much ability but that freshen-up has done him a world of good," said Logan.
"I thought Ryan would suit him as he's a nice patient rider, and he rode him really well."
Makkem Lad has taken his prize money to about $300,000 for Eden Park Stud Racing.