Powell gets Mauritius call-up
He will represent Singapore in this weekend's IJW
Jockey John Powell will miss the action at Kranji on Friday and Sunday - but for a good reason.
The popular hoop has been named as the replacement for Australian Glen Boss at the Attitude International Jockeys' Weekend in Mauritius this Saturday and Sunday.
It will be his first invitation to an "international".
Powell will leave tomorrow and return on Tuesday morning.
Boss was all poised to represent Australia at the annual jockeys' series on the Indian Ocean island, alongside fellow Sydney-based hoop Jason Collett (who, however, flies the New Zealand flag). But an untimely two-week ban, for excessive whip use aboard Star Of The Seas copped in a race at Kembla Grange on Saturday, has ruled him out of the Mauritius contest.
With time running out, the Mauritius Turf Club event organisers put a call through to Powell who accepted and will fly the Singapore flag at the international event.
The 49-year-old jockey, who last rode in Mauritius in 2005, was delighted to be heading back to an old hunting ground.
"Boss was looking forward to riding in the Mauritius jockeys' series," said Powell. "He'd be disappointed he is now missing it.
"I myself have always wanted to ride at the IJW. It's a big event for Mauritius and a great promotion for their racing and for Singapore as I'll be representing Singapore.
"It's my first jockeys' series and, at the same time, I'm excited to be going back there. It's a place where I made a lot of friends and always enjoyed riding in.
"As I've ridden there, I have a good understanding of the track but the jockeys invited are all world-class. Even those who are riding there for the first time can adapt fairly quickly."
Among the 11 rivals Powell will be doing battle with are three former Kranji colleagues, the just-crowned Mauritius champion jockey Manoel Nunes (Brazil), Nooresh Juglall (Mauritius) and Derreck David (South Africa) while Olivier Placais has opted out.
Other jockeys in the line-up are Jason Watson (UK), Aurelien Lemaitre (France), Miguel Martinez (Chile), Srinath Surendar (India), Randall Simons (South Africa), Jameer Allyhosain and Kersley Ramsamy (Mauritius).
The event is split between nine races on Saturday and eight on Sunday.