Powell powers to 500th win
Long-time Singapore resident John Powell achieved a new milestone yesterday when last-race winner ARAMCO gave him his 500th winner at Kranji.
Aramco was the second leg of the Australian's double, having ridden winner No. 499 on I'VE GOT A FEELING in Race 5, and the fourth winner for trainer Shane Baertschiger.
Baertshiger also trained I've Got A Feeling, $231 shocker COMMODORE LINCOLN in Race 4 and CREAMY CUSTARD in Race 6, who were both ridden by Matthew Kellady.
Powell, well-known for his good judge pace, deserves credit for his handling of his winners. I've Got A Feeling was drawn the widest of 14 runners and Aramco the second widest of 14, but he coolly moved them up to within striking distance on straightening and they then responded very well to win.
Powell, who won on the Baertschiger-trained Preditor on Sunday, said he wasn't aware of the magical 500 feat until he heard the race presenters saying he was only "3 or 4" behind.
"It's nice to have a good weekend and to get the 500. I'm happy with that. You know, it's a bit of a feat in Singapore," said Powell, who had ridden about 1,000 winners back home.
"You know, it's very competitive here and I put my whole life here in Singapore in the last 10 to 11 years. This is my home now. Hopefully, I can continue riding here till the day I retire."
Baertschiger called Powell, 46, an "under-rated" jockey.
"Not many people use him but I stick strongly with him. He's a very genuine guy, a hard worker and a great rider. He deserves what he gets," he said.