Pinheiro picks up plum ride
The young Brazilian will partner Burridge’s Mr Malek in the exciting $1 million Kranji Mile
Regulars at the Kranji racecourse will know the name.
It is Bernardo Pinheiro.
He is a Brazilian jockey – and we know how well that sits with local punters.
Remember Joao Moreira? And Manoel Nunes? Both champions in their own right.
Now we have Pinheiro – if only for a day.
While not as celebrated as his two countrymen, he is “getting there”.
The young jockey has been granted a one-day riding licence by the Singapore Turf Club and his assignment-in-chief will be to ride Mr Malek in the $1 million International Group 3 and Singapore Group 1 Kranji Mile on Saturday.
Here for his fourth flying visit to Singapore, he has been booked by trainer Steven Burridge to partner the Oscar Stable-owned galloper.
Just 25, Pinheiro is familiar with the yellow-and-blue silks of the Oscar Racing Stable.
Twice before in 2019, he donned those colours when partnering Mr Clint in the Singapore Derby and the Raffles Cup.
Both times, he finished second.
That same year – astride the same horse – he was unplaced in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
He will be hoping that this visit produces a Group 1 win. And Mr Malek might just do the job.
Already an eight-time winner, the son of Swiss Ace is all too familiar with the track and trip.
Indeed, it was 10 months ago that Mr Malek claimed the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup which over 1,600m.
It was Mr Malek’s second triumph over the mile, having won a Class 1 race over the trip in 2020.
The honest galloper has drawn a handy gate for the Kranji Mile. If the two emergency acceptors drawn inside of him could not secure their places, he will start from Gate 8.
Pinheiro would have done his homework and, come Saturday, both horse and rider will be ready for a big showing.
Already a globetrotter at such a young age, Pinheiro has ridden winners at some classy meetings across the globe.
Indeed, he knows how to win the big Group 1 races.
Among his career highlights are the Group 1 Emirates Championship with Harrab in Abu Dhabi in March this year.
Before that, he won the Group 1 Grande Premio Margarida Polak Lara Taca de Prata with Macadamia last June, the Triple Crown with filly Perfect Bullet in Brazil in June 2017, including the Group 1 Grande Premio Taca de Cristal.
He also won two Group 2s and four Group 3s.
Closer to home, across the Causeway, Pinheiro has a huge fan base.
Much of it has to do with the 33 winners he rode while there on a six-month stint from July 2019 to January 2020.
The highlight of his Malaysian stay was when he claimed the Malaysian Group 1 Selangor Gold Cup.
That, too, was a 1,600m race. He rode the Shane Edwards-trained Truson in the 2019 edition.
He also picked up three Listed races.
Besides his haul in Malaysia, he also won 65 races over five stints in Dubai, a race in Uruguay in 2017 and one in Bahrain in 2018.
Yes, Pinheiro knows his way around horses.
He is fourth on 24 winners in the UAE jockeys’ premiership for the 2021/2022 season.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, he rode his first winner on his first day of riding in November 2013.
He then quickly climbed through the Brazilian riding ranks.
Along the way, he picked up two champion apprentice jockey’s titles, in 2014 and 2015.
Extremely competent for one so young, Pinheiro has ridden 519 winners.
Apart from his ride on Mr Malek in the first feature race of the Singapore 2022 racing season, he has picked up three other rides.
He will partner Burridge’s Iron Prince in the opener, Ricardo Le Grange’s Pennywise in Race 5 and Jason Lim’s Sky Eye in the penultimate race.