Friday night at Kranji turned out to be the Birthday Boys’ night!
After Olivier Placais picked up a nice 33rd birthday present with Swift, it was Nooresh Juglall’s turn to follow suit with double the celebration in his case, albeit one day early.
By coincidence, Juglall’s two birthday gifts – he turns 26 on Saturday - were two horses beginning with the word “Satellite”: Satellite Prince and Satellite Star, even if they are raced by different connections. The Satellite Stable owns Satellite Prince and used to race Satellite Star as well, but later sold him to trainer Kuah Cheng Tee.
From his jubilant celebration – he couldn’t help a little fist pump aboard Satellite Prince in the $35,000 Class 5 race over 1600m – it was clear the Mauritian jockey’s head will be spinning around with a few more celebratory cocktails on Saturday, especially as it’s been a long time between drinks.
“I was so happy to get a win on Satellite Prince as my birthday is tomorrow,” said Juglall whose last win came aboard Stock Broker on June 16.
“To make it a double with Satellite Star is even better. I’d like to thank both John O’Hara (Satellite Prince’s trainer) and CT Kuah for putting me on those two horses.
“Especially for Satellite Prince as I used to ride him a lot and even won three times on him before. I’m very thankful to the owners (Satellite Stable) for putting me back on.
“I trialled him last Thursday and he went really well. I gave him a very good chance tonight as I thought he had found the right race, and he didn’t disappoint me.”
O’Hara said the instructions were to go forward but the speedmap was such that Juglall had to ease back in fourth place in spite of a quick getaway from the chestnut gelding.
“The horse has always had a good gate speed. I told Juglall to race forward but they were quicker on his inside and he had to drop back,” said the Singaporean handler.
“Even though he was three wide for most of the race, he was always travelling well and he gave a very nice kick to win the race.”
Sent out as the $11 favourite, the Flying Spur five-year-old could have petered out after coursing out wide, but instead found another wind to go and record a comfortable 1 ½-length win from Danger Zone (Derreck David) with $289 rank-outsider Shabbat (Mohd Zaki) third another half-a-length away. The winning time was 1min 36.75secs for the 1600m on the Short Course.
Satellite Star was also backed down to favouritism ($14) in the $35,000 Class 5 Division 2 race over 1100m, and duly obliged with a well-timed run under another inspiring ride from Juglall. The Buffalo Man four-year-old was registering only his second victory, with the first having by coincidence come with Juglall on August 2, 2015, when then trained by David Kok.
“He was always in the zone and he just flew in. He’s another horse I was glad to be back on as I was the one who rode him at his only previous win,” said Juglall.