A real God’s Gift for Jamil
Apprentice jockey celebrates birth of first child with aptly named winner at Kranji
Jamil Sarwi could not have wished for a better name for a winner on his first day back from paternity leave on Saturday.
It may have been a humble $30,000 Class 5 race over 1,400m, but God’s Gift indeed landed from the clouds to give the young apprentice jockey the perfect present to celebrate the birth of his first child on Sept 7.
“Today is my first day back after two weeks, and I’m very excited I rode a winner for my newborn,” said the 26-year-old, who got married in 2022.
“It’s a baby boy. He was born on Sept 7 and we named him Ariq Mikhail.”
Seven is clearly Jamil’s lucky number these days.
God’s Gift, who is prepared by his master Donna Logan, was handing the Marine Parade resident his seventh winner this season.
But the son of Haradasun – who is seven – is also a horse Jamil knows very well.
The gelding was the second pin of his haul of four winners at his first year of riding in 2022.
“I know this horse well as I’ve won on him before. He gave me my second win, after my first on Super Posh, both for ma’am Donna,” said Jamil, who was talent-spotted by multiple-champion jockey Saimee Jumaat when he was a syce.
“Today she told me to just ride him where he is comfortable. He raced relaxed throughout.
“Coming to the top of the straight, I could feel plenty of horse under me. He let down very well.”
The win brought double delight to Logan.
Not only was the Kiwi handler rapt for her apprentice, but God’s Gift also races in her colours.
“Really happy for Jamil. He works hard, he just became a dad, and it was great he won at his first day back from his leave,” she said.
“The fact we also own God’s Gift makes it even better.”
God’s Gift’s mid-race move from a rearward position, while being trapped four deep, would not have made for the prettiest of rides.
But Jamil was never seen bustling him up.
If anything, the $48 chance must have been able to fill his lungs up from the way he was just sneaking up to the leading bunch, while being ridden on a piece of cotton with no weight on his back.
Leader Red Maned (Jerlyn Seow) hung on for dear life but gave up 100m out.
Southern Master (Manoel Nunes) popped the question next, but was also gobbled up when God’s Gift found another gear under Jamil’s hands-and-heels riding.
While there were smiles all round in the Logan camp, her former apprentice Yusoff Fadzli, who rode the better-fancied Commander, was not quite in the mood to join the party.
The $14 favourite, who ran second to Geobels Glory second-up, was not able to capitalise on his No. 1 barrier, dropping even further back than God’s Gift (who drew in 10) in the running.
Turning for home, he was too cluttered up behind horses to have any remote chance of living up to his short odds.
But the US Navy Flag three-year-old still deserved plaudits for the way he weaved his way to the line for a fourth place, missing a podium finish by just 3/4 lengths.
Smoke And Mirrors (Koh Teck Huat) was the fast-closing runner-up, a ½-length away.
Southern Master finished third, another length adrift.
The winning time wasin 1min 23.99sec for the 1,400m on the short course.
“To be honest, God’s Gift was just a roughie who was down in the weights in that race,” said Logan.
“We thought Commander had a better chance, but Yusoff said he just gave up in the rain-affected track. He didn’t like the kickback and was looking left and right. He’s still young and he’ll improve.”
With that fifth win from 47 starts that also yielded 12 placings, God’s Gift’s bank account has swollen past the $180,000 mark for Logan.