Dellorto's back in the saddle
Singapore Turf Club grants Malaysian three months' apprentice jockey's licence
Malaysian rider Pregasam Dellorto could not have hoped for a better birthday present when he turned the "Big 30" on Monday.
After an absence of one-and-a-half years, the Perth-trained rider was given the great news he had been granted a new three-month apprentice jockey's licence by the Singapore Turf Club.
Previously indentured to Kiwi trainer Stephen Gray, the Kajang native now rides for English trainer James Peters.
Dellorto was sidelined through injury after he broke his collarbone in a trackwork accident on Bhaskara at the end of 2015. After he recovered, he went back to his job at Gray's yard, but left after a while.
Jobless, Dellorto was lost in the wilderness again. It certainly felt like deja-vu as two years ago, after his former master Sam Chua closed shop through bankruptcy, he had to go knocking on a few trainers' doors before he landed a job with Gray.
A cousin of jockey John Sundradas, Dellorto - whose unusual Alfa Romeo carburettor name was given by his mechanic-father (his three brothers also bear similar names: Solex, Lorto and Weber) - could not believe his riding career was at the crossroads again.
But riding is the only thing he knew, and with a young child to feed and a second one on the way, he decided to start from scratch and apply himself to getting back his licence, which had lapsed after he temporarily left the scene.
"It's been tough and here I have to thank Mr Peters for giving me another chance," said Dellorto, who rode five winners in Perth as an apprentice to leading trainer Neville Parnham.
"The fall kept me away for a while, and after I left the Gray yard, I was feeling down. But I missed riding and as I have a young family, I decided to make a comeback.
"I thank the Singapore Turf Club for giving me another chance. I am working hard and I hope I can ride a winner as soon as possible.
"Mr Peters has put me on a few good horses in trackwork, like Macarthur and Wimbledon. I know it's a different story for races but I would be glad if he can support me with a few rides for a start, just to get going again."
In four seasons at Kranji, Dellorto has ridden 14 winners, the latest coming on Sept 13, 2015 aboard the Steven Lam-trained Hear Me.