Four top names for the Derby, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Four top names for the Derby

Australians William Pike, Tommy Berry, Ben Melham and Glen Boss booked to ride in $1 million Group 1 race

Four top Australian jockeys - all no strangers to Kranji racegoers - have been granted permission to ride at the Singapore Derby meeting on Sunday.

They are William Pike, Tommy Berry, Ben Melham and Glen Boss.

All have rides in the $1 million Group 1 Derby over 1,800m.

Pike has been booked on the Ricardo Le Grange-trained King Louis, while Berry will be aboard the Lee Freedman-trained Heliosphere, Melham on the Michael Clements-trained Eye Guy and Boss on Circuit Mission, also trained by Freedman.

A regular visitor to Kranji in the last two seasons, Pike is well on his way to capturing his 11th Perth champion jockey title, being well clear as usual in the standings.

The 33-year-old is often sought out by Singapore connections in feature races. This will be his ninth visit.

Though he has yet to score any major win at his Singapore hit-and-run missions, he does have four winners on the board - Chairman, Mr Crowe, King Of War and Really Capable - all earned in 2017.

That year, he came the closest to winning a feature race, when second in the Derby and Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup with Lim's Samurai and Bahana respectively.

Riding since 2002, Pike has kicked home more than 2,000 winners, including seven at Group 1 and 51 at Group 2 and 3 level.

He has also ridden with success in Hong Kong in 2009 and 2012.

Berry, 28, figures among the leading jockeys in Sydney with more than 1,000 winners -25 at Group 1, including in Hong Kong and Singapore.

He will be at his fifth Kranji visit. He landed the Longines Singapore Gold Cup aboard Tropaios in 2013. He lifted the Singapore Airlines International Cup on Hong Kong raider Dan Excel in 2014 and 2015.

From his first Group 1 win aboard Epaulette in the 2012 Golden Rose Stakes, the 2009/2010 New South Wales champion apprentice has gone on to greater heights with several major victories.

Since 2013, Berry has been a frequent visitor to Hong Kong, even becoming the first Club-licensed rider to win a Group 1 race on the first day of his contract with Military Attack in the 2013 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

He has nine Group 1 wins in the former British colony, with his winning streak in the Hong Kong Classic Cup, the BMW Hong Kong Derby and Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, all aboard Designs On Rome in 2014, his most famous.

After a less successful stint as John Moore's stable jockey in the 2017-2018 season, Berry has since returned to Sydney, where he rides mostly for Team Hawkes and champion trainer Chris Waller.

Melham, 31, has ridden more than 1,100 winners in 16 years, including 60 in "black type" races. He won 16 in Group 1.

Melham rode at Kranji in March last year. Trainer Cliff Brown booked him to ride Filibuster in the Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint.

Although he did not win, he did not go home empty-handed. He managed to score on Cerdan.

Formerly indentured to Freedman and Darren Weir, Melham was crowned Melbourne champion apprentice jockey in 2005-2006.

Melham famously won his first Group 1 race aboard unbeaten mare Black Caviar as a replacement to regular partner Luke Nolen at her first Group 1 success in the Patinack Classic in 2010. He continued on an upward spiral and etched his name on many big races.

He also finished second aboard Johannes Vermeer in the 2017 Melbourne Cup won by Rekindling.

Melham currently sits in seventh spot on 32 winners on the Victorian Metropolitan jockeys' premiership.

Boss, 49, rode on and off in Singapore, even at the old Bukit Timah racecourse, but was based at Kranji for the last three years until he cut short his stint in May to return to Australia.

A three-time Melbourne Cup winner and an Australian Hall of Famer who has close to 2,700 winners in 31 years, Boss notched his most famous Singapore win at a hit-and-run visit in 2010, when he landed the Longines Singapore Gold Cup aboard Risky Business.

All-up, he has 155 winners in Singapore, including 11 at Group level, of which four are Group 1s - the Queen Elizabeth II Cup with Laughing Gravy (2016), two Patron's Bowls with Well Done (2016) and Alibi (2017) and the Lion City Cup (2018) with Lim's Cruiser.