Racing

Welcome back, John

Cancer survivor Powell scores comeback win on Walker's Time Lord

What do jockey John Powell and his Saturday's Race 6 winner Time Lord have in common?

Well, horse and rider returned to winning ways in the $70,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 2,000m after an almost similar drought.

It was cancer survivor Powell's first win in eight months.

The Australian heavyweight jockey returned to race-riding only last month, after successfully beating thyroid cancer.

His last win came with Lim's Spin on March 20, when he then sat joint-second with Ruan Maia on the log on 15 winners.

Time Lord last scored on March 7 in a Class 3 race over 1,800m with South African jockey Juan Paul van der Merwe astride.

Powell has not been taking many rides since returning from the sidelines.

But the feeling of crossing the line first at his 22nd attempt must have felt as exhilarating as the day his doctors told him his scans were clear.

"It took a few rides to get that first winner,"he said.

"I've been riding well without winning. I rode a lot of placegetters at 59kgs but it's hard for these horses to win after that.

"Hopefully, I can get my weight back down by another 3kg. Right now, I'm riding at 57kg minimum but I would like to be around 55kg."

Although he feels good and getting better in terms of fitness, he will be seeing his doctor this week to have his blood checked.

"We'll see how things go, but it's also pretty hard to compete these days. Anyway, it's great I got a one-year licence for next year, and get another chance to prove myself."

Ironically, the 50-year-old took a harmless tumble from Speedy Missile in the previous race. But he straight away bounced back to that much-needed fillip aboard Time Lord for Mark Walker.

The three-time Singapore champion trainer does not use Powell that frequently. But, interestingly, his first Kranji winner Rio Fortune was recorded 10 years ago on Nov 14, 2010, with Powell in the saddle.

"It's great to see JP back in the winner's circle. He rated this horse a treat," said Walker.

HORSE RACING