Jerome Tan makes Kranji training debut, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Jerome Tan makes Kranji training debut

New kid on the Kranji block Jerome Tan will be making his Singapore training debut tonight with his sole runner - Pakatan Warrior in Race 4.

The 51-year-old Singaporean previously trained in Penang. He has saddled more than 2,700 runners since 2009 and notched 190 winners. Before branching out on his own, he was assistant to Cecil Robert.

His debut charge is a one-time starter, finishing fifth in a 1,100m race in Penang last October). A fairytale start would be a bonus, but win, lose or draw, tonight will be a date etched in Tan's mind forever.

"I've loved horses and have been going to the turf club (Bukit Timah) since I was very young. I was in my 30s when I decided to join Cecil Robert in Penang," said Tan.

"He was the only trainer I knew. It was a very tough decision to leave Singapore to work as a syce in Penang. My parents didn't like the idea.

"But I've stayed on and, looking back, it's been a long journey but it's been all worth the while. I'm glad to be back as it's always been my dream to train in Singapore one day.

"I was not successful twice, but I'm glad I've finally made it. I'd like to thank the Singapore Turf Club for giving me a chance to prove myself as well as the owners who have supported me."

Licensed from Jan 1, Tan, whose Malaysian wife Jasmine and two daughters Desiree, 16, and Denise, 14, stayed back in Penang, said he is kicking off with a mixture of former owners from Malaysia and local outfits. Some of the latter are the Singapore Gold Cup-winning Elite Performance Stable and the T & T Stable of liver surgeon Dr Tan Kai Chah.

"It's taken a while to have my first runner as I was short-handed at the beginning. I only got my horses in work in January," said Tan, who also did a stint in Kranji as assistant to ex-trainers Tan Hor Khoon and Lionel Lee.

Pakatan Warrior, who is one of his 14 horses currently, will be ridden by Benny Woodworth tonight.