Thank you, Azhar

Meagher credits the 'legend' for First Bowl's victory

Many racegoers thought former multiple champion Malaysian jockey Azhar Ismail had returned home after his Singapore licence was not renewed this year.

But the 58-year-old has stayed back to be a senior track rider to trainer Daniel Meagher, who provided the jockey with his last Kranji win aboard Asaad on Dec 19 last year.

His name popped up again after First Bowl took Saturday's $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 event over the Polytrack 1,200m in Race 8. He had a hand in helping the horse's preparation. Incidentally, First Bowl was one the last three mounts for Azhar and they finished third.

"That horse was not very genuine early, but he's a pretty easy horse to train now," said Meagher.

"All credit to Azhar,who rides First Bowl at the back track. He's done a great job on him.

"We've known Azhar for a long time, and when he stopped, we decided to employ him. He's been a tremendous asset to the stable. It's an honour to have a legend on our payroll."

Ridden by Danny Beasley, First Bowl settled in the first few on the back of Longhu, who was hounded by Surge.

Unsurprisingly, Longhu was left without a kick when he could not dictate. Needing no second invitation, First Bowl pounced on him upon straightening before punching home a 1¼-length winner.

Last-start winner King Arthur loomed up menacingly under Wong Chin Chuen but found the winner too good. The winning time was 1min 10.98sec.

It was First Bowl's fourth success in 26 starts. He has amassed just over $150,000 for Meagher.

The Meagher-Beasley combination also took the last race with the Lim's Stable-owned $28 winner Saturno Spring.