A breakthrough win doubled as a farewell gift for apprentice jockey Harry Kasim when guided African Pulse to victory at Flemington on Saturday.
Kasim, 26, gave a capable display to land his first Australian winner aboard the Mike Moroney-trained sprinter – and a few hours later went home to pack his bags.
A mature-age apprentice whose introduction to racing was as a trackwork rider in Malaysia, Kasim moved to New Zealand five years ago.
For the past two years he has ridden for Moroney’s New Zealand operation and has ridden 82 winners across the Tasman.
He will finish his apprenticeship in Singapore with former Melbourne jockey Stephen Burridge who is among that country’s leading trainers.
Although he’s ridden stakes winners in New Zealand, Kasim said Saturday’s Flemington victory was his biggest.
“I’ve ridden some good winners over there, but this is the best thrill I’ve had,” Kasim said.
Sent out favourite, African Pulse ($3.40) maintained his perfect first-up record with a 2-1/2 lengths victory over Morant ($10) who finished a half neck in front of Livigno ($14).
Premier trainer Peter Moody received consolation for the defeat of his odds-on favourite Mulaazem when consistent mare Storm Burst scored over 2000m.
A horse he describes as the “best looker and best doer” in his stable, Storm Burst, the $4.40 favourite, dashed clear 250m out to score by five lengths from Vihanna Victory ($8).