High-riding rookie Kok bags one in Victoria, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

High-riding rookie Kok bags one in Victoria

Newly crowned champion apprentice jockey enjoying Australian adventure

Here at Kranji, we know him for his exploits on the turf.

Well, as of now, his "fame" - if you could call it that - is spreading and, on Sunday, racegoers in Australia got to see just how competent a jockey he is.

Yes, it didn't take long for Simon Kok Wei Hoong to get off the mark on his new Australian adventure.

The newly crowned Singapore champion apprentice jockey rode a winner in a 1,400m handicap race at Tatura in Vicotria.

The horse, named Inner Demons, was trained by Kok's new masters, David Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

It was Kok's third ride in Victoria and Inner Demons went off as the favourite.

Kok is in Australia as part of a new apprentice jockey exchange between the Singapore Turf Club and Racing Victoria.

Jessica Eaton was the inaugural beneficiary of the scheme.

She was in Singapore last month and she booted home two winners during a three-week stint at Kranji. It was her first trip outside her nativeland.

Kok, who arrived in Australia on Nov 30, has quickly reciprocated with a first winner, which he hoped would be the start of more success at his one-month stay with Hayes and Dabernig.

"This is my third ride. I had a third (Seberate) on Saturday at Pakenham, and now I've got my first winner," said Kok.

"Tatura is a tight track with a front-runner bias. That horse (Inner Demons) has natural speed, he did nothing at the beginning to get to the front early, and won easily."

Kok, who last year spent three months in Tasmania honing his craft, said he was happy with the way things have panned out thus far.

"I like the horses at Mr Hayes' yard. They are really nice to ride," he said.

"It's just a bit cold in the morning even though it's summer, but I've settled in very well.

"I was in Flemington for a week but I've now moved to their Euroa farms, which is an amazing place.

"I'm not sure what Mr Hayes has booked for me next. I will just keep working hard and hope I'll get more opportunities in the next few weeks."

Kok is due to return to Singapore on Dec 29.

He hopes to ride at the New Year Cup meeting, the 2020 season's curtain-raiser.