Grylls Wins for Te Akau Singapore

Date: 29 May 2023

Grylls Wins for Te Akau Singapore


It was terrific to see Kiwi rider return briefly to Singapore - where he has ridden previously - and score aboard Te Akau Ben ... the Singapore Turf Club reports:


Visiting jockey Craig Grylls fired in a win atop Te Akau Ben in the $50,000 Affleck 2015 Stakes at his first ride back in Singapore on Saturday.

The New Zealand hoop, who last rode in Singapore in 2018, flew over this time for his main assignment in the $150,000 Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1600m) where he will ride the Stephen Gray-trained February for the Falcon Racing No 7 Stable.

Prior to that, he had two other rides on the undercard, and he surprised punters with a $91 payout after the Donna Logan-trained Te Akau Ben scored in the Class 4 race over 1400m.



It could be a case of happy coincidence, but Grylls actually gave the New Zealand trainer her first win in Singapore on April 27, 2018 when Green Star won in a Class 4 Non-Premier race (1200m).

This time, he was glad to not only get another winner for Logan, but also for the prominent Kiwi owners from the Te Akau Racing Stable.

“I've ridden quite a few winners for Donna back in New Zealand but I also rode her first winner in Singapore,” said the young rider who won 44 races in Singapore previously.

“It's also great to ride a winner for Te Akau Racing (Stable) because they supported me a lot in New Zealand and I won many races for them there.”

After jumping, Te Akau Ben sat handy on the rails with Ace Sovereign (Daniel Moor) and Citizen (A'Isisuhairi Kasim) to his outside while stablemate Ahorsewithnoname (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) led the pack in the backstraight.

The five-year-old son of Tavistock ambled closer to the leader around the bend and started to pull away from the rest once Grylls' wielded the persuader in the straight.



Favourite Pacific Bao Bei (Wong Chin Chuen), who came from mid-field, could only improve after finding room at the 250m, but the bird had already flown. The Michael Clements-trained gelding finished two-and-a-quarter lengths behind Te Akau Ben, but he was brave in defeat as he was found to have bled after the race.

Ahorsewithnoname stuck on well to run another half-a-length away in third. The winning time for the 1400m on the Short Course was 1 min 22.32secs.

With his second win in five starts, Te Akau Ben has now earned more than $50,000 in prizemoney for connections.

Grylls, who flew into Singapore on Thursday night, was slightly taken aback by the win.

“I didn't think he was hopeless but he didn't look a strong winning chance, though he won two starts ago (on April 1),” he said.

“The plan was to sit in trail and Donna said the other horse (Ahorsewithnoname) would lead.

“When he (Te Akau Ben) came through to the top of the straight, the leader rolled off and he kicked really hard and won with a lot in hand.”

Logan, who pulled off a double courtesy of Our Secret Weapon ($19) in the $30,000 Inferno 2020 Stakes, a Class 5 race (1000m) in the opener, was happy for Grylls.

“I knew he was back to ride for Falcon Racing (No 7 Stable) and he asked if I had some rides for him. I said, ‘for sure',” said the only female handler at Kranji.

“He's ridden plenty of winners for me back in New Zealand, so it's nice to give him another winner this time.”

Meanwhile, Grylls will fly back to New Zealand on Monday, but not before another chance to open his account in a “new territory”: the Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur.

He is booked on four rides at the Sungai Besi racecourse, of which two are trained by Richard Lines and owned by the Falcon Racing No 7 Stable.

Sincerely will line up in the RM150,000 Group 1 Equine Sanctuary Tunku Gold Cup (1200m) while Invisible will run in the RM18,500 Class 5a race (1200m).

“I won on Falcon's (Racing No 7 Stable) horses previously in Singapore, so they asked me if I was free this weekend and I agreed to come over,” said Grylls.

“They also asked if I would like to go over to Malaysia to ride for them too and I said yes of course, but it's my first time riding Sincerely though.

“I'll fly over to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning, be back in Singapore at night and then take a flight back to New Zealand on Monday.

“I'm still not used to the heat here because it's cold in New Zealand. I had a cold last week but I'm pretty much okay now.

“It's good to see a lot of familiar faces and catch up with people I rode for. Thanks to the Singapore Turf Club for granting me a (one-day) licence too.”



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