Vorster bags one for Le Grange, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Vorster bags one for Le Grange

Singapore races

Jockey Barend Vorster was rapt he had his first winner for Ricardo Le Grange on the board on Sunday.

The two men have been behind a glut of winners - probably around 500 from Vorster's overall haul of 708 winners - during the Patrick Shaw era when Vorster was the No. 2 (behind the likes of Johnny Geroudis, Mark du Plessis and Robbie Fradd) and then No 1 rider in the last five years.

Vorster had relocated from South Africa to Singapore in 2003 and Le Grange was Shaw's assistant-trainer from Day 1.


But TERMS OF REFERENCE's win in the $60,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1,200m was Vorster's first win for Le Grange since he became a trainer in his own right.

After Shaw decided to take a six-and-a-half-month sabbatical beginning last December, Le Grange stepped up to helm the yard.

He had two winners on Jan 2, Southern Dragon and Storm Troops, both ridden by Nooresh Juglall.

Juglall also rode SONG TO THE MOON to victory in Sunday's Race 7 for Le Grange, bringing his tally to 4 wins.

Vorster, who turned 40 on Dec 31, has not been left out of the scoresheet into the New Year either, with the Laurie Laxon-trained debutant Aotearoa opening his 2017 account on Friday, but saluting for Le Grange bore a special meaning to him.

"It's good to get one win under the belt for Ricky," said Vorster.

"This horse has a bit of class on his side, and although down in class, he was shouldering a bit of weight (57kg).

"It looked like he would win easily at the top of the straight, but the weight difference was a factor. Still, he fought on very well."

Outsider KEEN DRAGON (Derreck David) had only 52.5kg on his back and was not throwing in the towel yet as he worked his way back into the race on the inside after Terms Of Reference ($25) headed him at the 300m.

But Vorster had something else going for him, his wealth of experience in tight contests.

And he tapped into it to keep Terms Of Reference on the move and preserve a head margin on the line.

"Great ride by Barend, and it's also great for the owners Bernard Kantor and Mark Yong," said Le Grange.

"The horse was back in Class 4 and the drop back in distance also helped him. We also put the blinkers back on him and it's done the trick." It was Terms Of Reference's fifth win from 26 starts.

Time to snap up your CNY package

The Year of the Rooster will be celebrated in style at the Singapore Racecourse with the running of the Fortune Bowl on Sunday, Jan 29.

To make it truly an occasion to remember, patrons can purchase a CNY Prosperity Package for their afternoon at the races.

The Package includes admission to the Marquee where guests will enjoy a delectable buffet lunch spread, complete with free flow of coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks, and a vantage view of the racing action happening on the turf just outside the Marquee.

Each guest will also receive an exclusive Rooster Figurine to commemorate the Year of the Rooster.

The CNY Prosperity Package is priced at $78 nett per person.

For purchases made before Sunday, Jan 15, an Early Bird Discounted price of $68 nett per person is now available. Group purchases of 10 packages will be entitled to a complimentary plate of "Yu Sheng".

In addition to the running of the Fortune Bowl, the club has put together a wide array of festive activities specially tailored for racegoers to usher in the New Year.

Traditional dragon and lion dance performances will be staged prior to the running of the first Singapore race to wish patrons an auspicious start to the New Year.

A pair of Gods of Fortune will go around the racecourse to distribute chocolate gold coins as a symbolic gesture of spreading prosperity.

The showcase of Chinese Zodiacs forecast by renowned Fengshui Grand Master Tan Khoon Yong, a perennial crowd favourite, will also be making a return.


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