Racing

S John bags treble, then suspended for three race days

Former top apprentice jockey rues missing fourth winner with Strong N Powerful

When it rained, it poured for jockey S John at Kranji on Friday night.

The former Singapore champion apprentice jockey enjoyed one of his best moments with a hat-trick of wins in quick succession.

He began the rout with $8 favourite Golden Kid in the $20,000 Open Maiden-2 race over 1,200m in Race 4.

He then followed it up aboard $33 chance Braced in the $50,000 Class 4 race over 1,700m in Race 5 and on $61 outsider Per Inpower in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1,400m in Race 6.

But his good day at the office was marred by a suspension of three Singapore race days over his handling of Braced.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding for permitting his mount to shift out near the 600m mark and causing Yulong Medal to be checked.

As John has been engaged to ride at the Singapore race meetings this Friday and Sunday, his suspension will be from Oct 7 until Oct 18. He was advised of his right of appeal.

John said he had been rather bullish of walking away with at least a winner last Friday when he looked at his book of seven rides.

He singled out Per Inpower as his best chance, followed by Strong N Powerful, who flew home fourth and was only two necks and a nose behind $239 winner Ping Pong in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden event over 1,400m in Race 2.

"I've won three before, but it could have been four if Strong N Powerful was not so green. He was going in and out, and just missed out," said John.

"I knew I had a nice book of rides. I thought Per Inpower was my best chance and I also made Strong N Powerful a very good chance, while Golden Kid became a top chance after Pindus was scratched, he won easy.

"Per Inpower ran a very good race. He likes to hang in and I had to be patient with him. We got there at the right time."

The Per Incanto four-year-old gave the impression he would be outsprinted at the 300m mark as the favourite Gold Star (Ben Thompson) was being hailed the winner after weaving his way through a packed field to hit the front from Destroyer Eclipse.

Per Inpower's trainer, CT Kuah, who has endured a topsy-turvy season thus far, was glad he had a consistent customer under his barn roof.

The New Zealand-bred is now among three of Kuah's haul of 13 winners for the year.

"I've said before that this horse is problematic. He's gone through so many gear changes, and I think I've got the perfect gear now," said the former jockey.

"I have stuck to the same distance. It's not easy for a horse to win three in a row. He was up in grade but I thought he was a lightweight chance. S John knows the horse very well.

"He showed a good turn of foot at his last two wins and we've kept him fresh. I'm happy for the owner and myself."

Per Inpower has been a good moneyspinner, having amassed more than $160,000 in stakes for Strong Stable.

HORSE RACING