Hakim ends rocky start with a double, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Hakim ends rocky start with a double

Last year’s champion jockey opens his 2022 account with Deception and Diamond Ring

The whiz kid of 2021 has finally put a bit of fizz back in his 2022 Singapore racing season, even if it may come to an end next month.

After a muted start, Hakim Kamaruddin, the young dual-Singapore champion (apprentice and jockey), racked up a double yesterday with Deception and Diamond Ring. Both were for his new master, Donna Logan.

“I’m very happy today after I rode my first winner since I came back,” he said after Deception’s win. “Thank you to Mrs Logan and the owner.”

The 24-year-old handed out a lot more of those post-win thank you’s last year, when he emerged as the undisputed Kranji success story. 

Landing the top rider title in both the junior and senior categories was a rare feat not achieved since Benny Woodworth in 1995.

But, in stark contrast, Hakim booted home his first 2022 winner only at his 23rd ride when Deception came with a well-timed run to take the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1,200m.

The tardy visit to the winner’s circle, a place he hogged 59 times last year, has surprised a few even if the writing was on the wall.

Cracks had already appeared when the note was soured by a three-month suspension at the end of last year, for a horse head-hitting incident in a race.

As if that blemish was not enough, he was issued only with a six-month licence for 2022, instead of the customary one year.

His former mentor, Kiwi trainer Mark Walker, who left the Kranji scene in early January, advocated a change of scenery to New Zealand as a career reboot.

Hakim returned to Kranji only last month under Logan while waiting for the New Zealand work permit formalities to be cleared. But he was certainly not scooping up winners by the spades this time.

“It’s taken a long time to get my fitness back after the long time away,” said Hakim, who returned to his native Kelantan during the enforced holiday.

“My new boss, Mrs Logan, has helped me a lot, but I have not got the same support from outside.”

Hakim may not have to worry about that with the strong backing from his own backyard, such as Deception’s owners, the Fortuna NZ Racing Stable.

On nine winners, the New Zealand outfit has contributed half of Logan’s haul of 18 winners thus far.

“Fortuna is on fire and can’t do anything wrong these days,” said Logan, who has taken over Fortuna’s and Te Akau Racing’s horses formerly trained by Walker.

“I’ve always had a lot of time for this horse (Deception). He has a good temperament and does so well at the stable.

“He seemed a bit tired at the end of his last prep, but the break has done him the world of good.

“Hakim rode him a treat, and it’s great to see him back a winner. He gave the horse a beautiful ride. 

“We discussed where he should place the horse, and he put him in the ultimate position. He rode him to the letter.”

The I Am Invincible three-year-old enjoyed a smothered run in between runners in fourth spot, before asserting his clear superiority when peeled out for his run at the top of the straight.

Watery (Shafrizal Saleh), who served it up to race-leader The Star (Manoel Nunes), did well to hang on for second , 11/2 lengths away. 

Trainer Hideyuki Takaoka’s newcomer Sousui (Oscar Chavez) was held up for his run when The Star rolled in at the 150m. But he still ran third, another half-length away.

The winning time was 1min 10.39sec for the 1,200m on the Short Course A.

While Deception ($15) has never missed a pay cheque at his previous six starts ($64,800 earned from three seconds and three thirds), yesterday’s was the first to bear the thicker end of the $75,000 prize money written on. He has now made over $100,000 for Fortuna NZ Racing.

Logan went on to saddle a treble with Reignite ($14) in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1,200m and Diamond Ring ($34) in the $30,000 Class 5 Division 2 race over 1,100m.

Saturday's Singapore Results:  PDF iconresults15.pdf