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Bayliss rewarded with ride on Golden Monkey

With Oscar Chavez out, Australian rider gets nod on leading Singapore 3YO Classic hope

The musical chairs of jockeys continues with the ever-changing configuration in the Kranji riding ranks these days.

Suspensions, injuries, new licensees, long or short term, are behind this saddle merry-go-round. 

Just-in jockey Bernardo Pinheiro getting on Tiger Roar in replacement of injured fellow Brazilian jockey Manoel Nunes in Sunday’s Group 2 Stewards’ Cup (1,600m) was a recent high-profile example.

The latest reshuffle of note concerns gun three-year-old Golden Monkey.

With Oscar Chavez’s appeal against a three-month suspension dismissed over the weekend – and compounded by the addition of another two months – trainer Tim Fitzsimmons quickly got on the bush telegraph. 

Singapore’s current leading trainer had to find another rider for his Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1,200m) winner, given the second leg, the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1,400m) comes up next week. 

He has booked Jake Bayliss on Golden Monkey while Vlad Duric picks up the mount Bayliss guided to a creditable third in the Sprint, Gold Ten Sixty-One.

The choice of the two Australians as the new partners does not surprise, but not so the order. Most would probably have reversed the rides.

Duric is just fresh off his winning ride aboard Relentless for Fitzsimmons in the Stewards’ Cup.

The Victorian four-time Singapore champion jockey is at a four-meeting Kranji comeback bookended between the Stewards’ Cup and Group 1 Singapore Derby (1,800m) on July 17.

With Fitzsimmons’ usual go-to jockey, Nunes, out and most of the other jockeys committed, Duric was a shoo-in for the leading gig.

But it would seem loyalty has not become a rare commodity in the Fitzsimmons camp.

“Jake trialled Golden Monkey when Oscar was down with Covid-19,” said Fitzsimmons.

“He also galloped him a couple of times when Oscar couldn’t make it. The owner wanted to reward him with the ride.

“I’m also rapt to get Vlad on Gold Ten Sixty-One. There’s nobody better than him, as we saw on Sunday.”

Golden Monkey may have shown he was nearly six lengths better than his stablemate in the Sprint, but to Fitzsimmons, the extra 200m to the Classic will be a leveller. Favourite Silent Is Gold split the pair in second place.

“Over 1,400m, Gold Ten Sixty-One will find it easier to go to the front and dictate terms. There’s no other horse with speed in the race,” he said.

“At his previous race over 1,100m, he wanted to lead but couldn’t come across. 

“The race was over for him.

“He’s a much better horse when he rolls on in front.”

With a jockey of Duric’s calibre on his back, the two-time winner by Dalghar should not be ignored, but Fitzsimmons had a few ominous words about Golden Monkey as well.

“Golden Monkey has come through good. Jake will gallop him tomorrow (today),” he said of the son of Star Turn.

“I couldn’t be happier with him. He may have improved further since his win.”

He will also put Gold Ten Sixty-One through a similar hit-out this morning, with Duric getting a first feel.

“They will both have some easy pacework next Tuesday,” he said.

“Both horses are well, and let’s hope the good run continues.”

Should it be a three-in-a-row for Cliff Brown’s former assistant trainer, the rampage might just get even more “relentless” the week after.

HORSE RACING