A well-judged front running ride has landed Singapore’s champion apprentice Simon Kok a victory at Sandown.
Kok rode the $2.90 Pierrless to a 1-1/2 length win in Wednesday’s Clanbrooke Racing Handicap (1500m) to give him a second winner in Victoria following success at Tatura on Sunday.
Gaining experience in Tasmania earlier in 2019, Kok, apprenticed to ex-pat Australian trainer Steven Burridge, returned to Singapore and rode 35 winners during the just completed season claimed the apprentices’ title.
Kok has teamed up with Lindsay Park trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig on an exchange apprentice program recently introduced between Racing Victoria and the Singapore Turf Club.
His trip to Victoria follows Jessica Eaton as the inaugural beneficiary of the scheme who last month rode two winners during her three-week stay at Kranji.
“This is my second winner and I’m thrilled with this win,” Kok said.
Kok remains in Victoria until the end of December and after spending the past four days riding work at Lindsay Park’s Euroa property has returned to Flemington for the remainder of his stay.
He described riding at Lindsay Park and at different tracks around Victoria as invaluable experience.
“Tatura was a very sharp track but I learned a lot from it because we don’t get to ride on those tracks in Singapore,” Kok said.
“I’m just back from the farm which was another different environment, but I find the horses are very happy up there.
“The uphill track is just amazing as is the infrastructure.
“And I walked this track (Sandown) before my race, it’s a nice big track like Singapore.
“At the 400 metres there is a dip there and Ben (Hayes) told me to keep her balanced and then she finished off well.”
Ben Hayes said Kok, who has so far had four rides during his stay, all for Lindsay Park, was a willing learner.
“He’s done a good job for us and I think he’s got a very good future,” Hayes said.