By Michael Lee – STC
In a move which will surprise a few, jockey Nooresh Juglall has asked for his release from his current tenure at the Singapore Turf Club.
The Mauritian rider is licensed for six months until June 30, but on Wednesday, informed the Club and the Stewards he would relinquish his licence. Juglall has indicated his farewell Kranji meeting would be on Friday, April 26.
A winner of 217 races all-up since he booted home his first winner Majestic Moments (who recently died after a brilliant racing career) at his very first Kranji ride on June 15, 2014, Juglall has cited family reasons for the sudden move.
He plans to return to Mauritius or South Africa where he honed his craft and won two champion apprentice jockey titles to pursue his riding career.
“Since the end of last year, my wife Chaaya could not get a visa to stay in Singapore. With a baby boy, it’s become increasingly harder for me to have my family with me,” said Juglall.
“Mentally, it does unsettle not to have that family support and fabric behind you, but I was still riding to the best of my ability.
“Singapore has been very good to me. I’ve finished in the Top 5 twice (2015 and 2018) and except for some careless riding suspensions, I boast a clean record here.
“My most memorable moments remain my first win with Majestic Moments and the good association I had with that horse, my six Group 3 wins, and of course, the wonderful relationship I had with Patrick Shaw and Ricardo Le Grange.
“I wouldn’t have achieved what I did in Singapore without Pat, but of course, the other trainers like Michael Clements, Leslie Khoo, Alwin Tan and lately John O’Hara, Desmond Koh and Donna Logan have been good supporters of mine.
“I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart and the owners who have put me on their horses. There are so many to list, but how not to mention Mark and Emily Yong (Avengers Stable and Tmen Stable), they gave me my first Singapore winner Majestic Moments and my first Group winner Magneto (Committee’s Prize) in 2014.
“I really liked Singapore and its racing, and I really wished I could continue my career here, but I miss having Chaaya and my son Aryan with me. There was no stability in my life, and regretfully, I was left with no other choice but to return to Mauritius.
“I take this opportunity to thank the Singapore Turf Club for giving me the privilege to ride here, and I hope I can come back and ride here again one day.”
Always in the Top 10 since he arrived in 2014, except for this year, Juglall enjoyed his best season in 2017 when he racked up 50 winners and his best finish last year when he finished fourth on the premiership on 46 winners, 27 winners behind champion jockey Vlad Duric.
Besides the Committee’s Prize, Juglall has added five more local silverware, all Group 3 races (see table below).
This season – for which he was licensed for only six months – has, however, not got off to the best of starts. He was stood down and fined $2,000 for failing a urine test in January and it’s been downhill since.
Rides from Le Grange, his main pillar of support, had tapered off, wins were scarcer, and the latest whammy was three consecutive suspensions amounting to two months, the most serious one being one month for causing the fall of John Sundradas at his last winning ride on Reach For The Sun on February 8.
Juglall only returned from his time on the sidelines last weekend, unfortunately returning home empty-handed from 13 rides. He currently sits in 14th spot on the log, 46 winners behind Duric.
“I’ll try my best to ride at least one winner before I leave. That would be a nice way to bow out, for my fans and the friends I made here, and of course, for myself,” he said.
“But even if it doesn’t happen, I will still cherish the good memories of my time in Singapore.”