Racing

Seow happy with debut

The 27-year-old Jurong lass finishes second aboard $14 favourite Black Quail

For a fleeting moment at Kranji yesterday, it looked like new woman apprentice jockey Jerlyn Seow Poh Hui was going to achieve a fairy-tale start to her riding career.

But finishing second-best aboard the $14 favourite Black Quail in Race 5 - the first of her two rides in her debut -would still not wipe the smile off the face of the former cafe worker upon unsaddling.

She led on the Fairdeal Stable-owned galloper but had to settle for a half-length second behind stablemate What you Like, the $22 second fancy.

The winner had apprentice jockey Hakim Kamaruddin astride in the $30,000 Michael John Clements Stakes for Class 5 horses over the Polytrack 1,000m.

Another stablemate, Happy Friday, who had jockey Benny Woodworth astride, got up to beat Just Stars on the line to make it 1-2-3 for Seow's master, trainer Mark Walker.

For the 27-year-old Jurong lass, finishing runner-up first-up was still a great result.

"I'm still very happy with my first ride. I'll be less nervous for my second ride later," she said, after the race.

"Coming to the home turn, my horse was slowing down already. When the other horse came up, I gave him another push and he did well to run second."

Her second mount, Altair in the $100,000 Happy New Year Stakes for Kranji Stakes A horses over the Poly 1,200m - finished last of 12 runners after disputing the early lead.

It was also trained by Walker, who was pleased with his protege's first ride in a race.

DREAM RUN

"She did everything right, but the other horse got a dream run on the fence and knocked her off," said the three-time Singapore champion trainer, who finished second to Clements at the just-ended 2020 racing season.

"Before the race, I just told her to treat that first race as a trial. I'm very happy with her ride. She will be more confident at the second ride, but it's also a very tough race."

Hakim, who was runner-up to Simon Kok Wei Hoong in the apprentice jockeys' premiership last year, said the inner-most barrier was the key to his success.

"The good draw helped my horse," said the Malaysian rider. "I saw Jerlyn ahead of me and, though she tried hard, my horse was better. She rode a very good race."

Seow is the only female rider at Kranji, after Kiwi lass Alysha Collett went to ride in Australia, when racing was shut down during the Covid-19 circuit breaker last year.

HORSE RACING