Nooresh Juglall might consider a second job as a wedding planner.
The Mauritian jockey really wanted to ride a winner as the perfect wedding gift for his main supporter Ricardo Le Grange’s brother Daniel’s wedding on Friday. From his big book of 15 rides this weekend, he had singled out Mokastar in Sunday’s $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1000m as his best bet for that mission.
Just like the flowers and the wine had been perfect on Daniel and Amelle Le Grange’s wedding day in England, Juglall’s little wedding plan all the way from Kranji could not have been executed any better.
After drawing blanks from his seven rides on Friday, Juglall bounced straight right back on Sunday to get right on the money aboard his top pick himself.
Sent as the $10 second-favourite, Mokastar matched motors early with the odds-on $8 favourite and Mark Walker’s newcomer Shamrock (Vlad Duric), who kicked up from barrier No 1 to keep Mokastar on his outside for most of the backstraight.
But with Shamrock slightly intimidated at the 500m and losing about half a length in the process, Mokastar eventually settled resolutely on the steel to swing for home to a grand entrance that could have indeed been played to the wedding march.
Responding to Juglall’s urgings, the Poet’s Voice three-year-old bounded away to a most emphatic 3 ¾-length win from Shamrock with Evil Speedo (Nurshahril Nordin) third another 1 ½ lengths away. The winning time was 59.39 seconds for the 1000m speed dash.
“I’m just so happy I won with this horse as he really deserved to win a race and it couldn’t have been on a better occasion,” said Juglall.
“It’s a great gift for Ricardo’s brother’s wedding and also for Emily Hwang, the owner (Tmen Stable).
“I had to use him early but once he put his head in front, he had his ears pricked and I was quite happy to just leave him there even if he was on the outside of Vlad’s horse.
“I didn’t want to chase him to clear his horse, just let him gallop beside his and in the straight, he gave a powerful kick and was just too good.
“Well, like I said before, he was the class horse in the race and his greater experience helped him. Vlad’s horse was new and is still very green but he seems to be a nice horse, too.”