Racing

Outgoing Munger hopes for more

South African not renewing his licence, citing Kranji's reduced race meetings as his reason to go back

Ryan Munger, who steered Tiger Roar to a last-to-first nose victory in Saturday's $50,000 Class 4 race over 1,800m, has only four Kranji meetings remaining to his stint.

Next month will be the South African's last, before he says adios to Singapore. He has ridden 16 winners since he began his stint in January and hopes to leave with a few more winners.

He is the only expatriate jockey from the three-month shutdown, from April to July, who will not be renewing his licence for next year.

The other six - Duric, Maia, Louis-Philippe Beuzelin, Marc Lerner, John Powell and Juan Paul van der Merwe - have been granted a one-year extension on application.

When the pandemic brought Singapore racing to a screeching halt in April, four foreign jockeys - Daniel Moor, Michael Rodd, Alysha Collett and Patrick Moloney - cut short their stay and headed to Australia.

Munger wished he could stick around for another season, but a longer stay would hurt his pocket even further.

"It's been one of these decisions that gave me many sleepless nights as I've really enjoyed my time here," he said.

"But it's been a bit hard when meetings were dropped from two a week to one, while the cost of living has remained the same, that is very expensive.

"These are really uncertain times and it could become a huge problem. So, I've decided to go back to my base in Johannesburg.

"My agent has already spoken to some trainers and the good thing about South Africa is I don't have to do any quarantine, just a 72-hour Covid-19 test and if I'm negative, I'm good to go.

"In saying this, I hope when the whole Covid-19 situation has calmed down, I would like to ride overseas again, and Singapore would definitely be a place I would consider as long as it's two race meetings a week again."

The 25-year-old, who was crowned Zimbabwe champion apprentice during the 2017-2018 season, is leaving with the proud knowledge he has done his best even if he did not garner the best rides.

He may not get the pick of the rides, let alone in feature races, but he amazingly finished second in all three legs of the prestigious Singapore Triple Crown series - all on Lee Freedman runners - Sun Marshal in the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1,600m), Minister in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1,800m) and again Minister in the Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m).

HORSE RACING