Zyrul gets his name up in lights
Singaporean jockey boots home his first treble to take his season's tally to 10 winners
If this were a movie, he would have been one of those on the fringe of the action. At best, a co-star. More likely, a bit player in the grand scheme of things.
But, on Saturday, jockey Zyrul Nor Azman - better known as N Zyrul - showed them that, when the opportunities presented themselves, he could get his name up in lights.
He did put together a treble from nine rides - and they weren't all on gift horses.
He fought for the honours and deserved every pat on the back, which I like to think he received from the other players in this unforgiving sport we call horse racing.
Zyrul got things going in the Race 1 when he steered Wind of Dubai to a 11/4-length victory over the well-fancied Takhi.
Trained by James Peters, Wind Of Dubai was a reserve in the capacity field and got a spot with the scratching of The Shadow. It was a pick-up mount and the jockey made the best of it, bringing the youngster home with a huge run which began a furlong out.
Four races later, he had his double. It came courtesy of Nate's Champion, who was prepared by the "trainer of the moment", Tim Fitzsimmons.
Once again, the win didn't come on a silver platter. Nate's Champion had to jump from the extreme outside in the 12-horse field. But Zyrul quickly found him a spot behind the lead in the 1,200m sprint.
He made his move 250m out, fashioning a run which landed him in front. From there, he sailed home a four-length winner over Loving Babe.
The icing on his first three-tiered cake came in Race 10, when King's Command romped home under some serious whip riding to take the honours.
He had a mount in the 11th, King Zoustar. But it was not to be a four-bagger.
The honours were taken by Danny Beasley on Saturno Spring.
Beasley was one of two jockeys who rode a double. The other was Marc Lerner.
Until the final event, the training honours were evenly distributed with 10 trainers each saddling a winner.
But, with Beasley booting home Saturno Spring, Daniel Meagher put a double on the board. His earlier winner was First Bowl, also ridden by Beasley.
As for Lerner, well, he punched home a lesson which we should take seriously.
You cannot put a good man down - especially if the "good man" is the Frenchman.
Lerner was dislodged from Dragon Sands in Race 2, when the hyperactive three-year-old reared as the gates opened.
The horse was seen to land on its back and Lerner must have been in plenty of discomfort.
But he dusted off the mishap and was back in the saddle in the very next race.
On the Mark Walker-trained favourite Reignite, Lerner rode a masterful race, extricating him from behind a bunch of horses at the 600m mark to beat Romantic by a length.
It was his 40th win for 2021 and Walker's 61st success. He completed his double on the Hideyuki Takaoka-trained Twelfth Night in Race 7.