Snip gives Eaton first overseas victory
Daniel Meagher-trained 6YO is only the Australian apprentice jockey's third ride at Kranji
Jessica Eaton, the Australian apprentice jockey who is in Singapore on a three-week exchange between the Singapore Turf Club and Racing Victoria, did not have to wait long to ride her first Kranji winner.
The Daniel Meagher-trained Snip was also the 26-year-old's first winner outside her nativeland, making it even more special and memorable.
Indentured to Meagher, Eaton made her Singapore debut on Friday night but was unplaced in two rides. She was also nominated on Silent Partner but the horse was scratched.
Snip, in Race 3, was the first of her six rides yesterday and she rode a marvellous race to score easily in the $50,000 Class 4 Div 2 event over the Poly 1,000m.
"Dan has looked after me so well since I've been here and it's great my first winner here was for him," said a smiling Eaton at the post-race interview
Showing a good pair of hands and nice balance, Eaton went close when second in her next two rides.
She lost by a mere head on the luckless Donna Logan-trained Gamely in Race 4 and by just a short head on the Michael Clements-trained Official in Race 7. Gamely has notched eight seconds in 19 starts.
Eaton was unplaced on Dinghu Mountain (Race 8), Lim's Knight (Race 9) and Our Dynamite (Race 10).
The 3kg-claimer placed Snip a handy third on the shortest route home behind Dash. First Choice was second. Thomas De Lago and the favourite Admiral Winston were next.
There was no change in racing order as they straightened for home. But, shortly after, Eaton decided to leave the fence as her comfort zone could be compromised any moment.
With luck, First Choice drifted out slightly as he began to peter out, giving Eaton the dream run. Responding to her riding, Snip swept past Dash to win by 11/4 lengths in 59.38sec.
Admiral Winston let down nicely under jockey Benny Woodworth to finish second. Thomas De Lago got up to deny Dash of third placing, half a length behind.
Meagher was happy to provide Eaton with a morale-boosting winner early in her Kranji stint with Snip, one of the first horses he started with.
"It's always tough to come up and have only three weeks here to try and get started, and it's a good result for Jessie," said Meagher.
On his six-year-old Snip , he said: "You know, he's my fourth horse here. I arrived with two horses, so he means a lot."
Eaton knew Snip, who ran second last-start behind now three-from-three winner Red Rover, had a chance.
She wanted to sit outside the leader, but Snip was not overly fast out. With outside pressure, she was happy to sit on the rails.
"We went for the gap in the straight and he was too strong," she said.
In Australia, Eaton is apprenticed to Meagher's elder brother, Chris.
In all, she has ridden about 110 winners after switching from eventing to riding in 2014.
Most of her winners were recorded in Victoria, but she also had the odd stints in Perth, Tasmania and Adelaide.
She "didn't really follow Singapore racing before" but started watching a lot of the race replays after being told she was coming to Singapore.
She was also given the leg-up from her compatriots Patrick Moloney and Raquel Clark, who had both ridden at Kranji.
The Singapore Turf Club-Racing Victoria exchange will see Kranji's top apprentice Simon Kok Wei Hoong flying to Australia during the racing break next month.
He will be transferring his indentures from Steven Burridge to Melbourne trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
Kok is serving a nine-raceday suspension.