The Singapore Turf Club has granted a one-day visiting jockey’s licence to four Australian jockeys to ride at the Group 1 Singapore Derby meeting on 21 July 2019.
Jockeys William Pike, Tommy Berry, Ben Melham and Glen Boss have been booked to ride King Louis (Ricardo Le Grange), Heliosphere (Lee Freedman), Eye Guy (Michael Clements) and Circuit Mission (Freedman) respectively in the Singapore Derby.
A regular visitor at Kranji in the last two seasons, William Pike is well on his way to capturing his 11th Perth champion jockey title, being well clear as usual in the standings.
The 33-year-old jockey is often sought out by Singapore connections in feature races. He will be at his ninth visit at Kranji.
Though he has yet to score any major win at his Singapore hit-and-run missions, he does have four winners on the board – Chairman, Mr Crowe, King Of War and Really Capable all earned in 2017. That was the year he also came the closest to winning a feature race – second in the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby and Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup with Lim’s Samurai and Bahana respectively.
Riding since 2002, Pike has under his belt more than 2,000 winners, 7 Group 1 winners, namely two Perth Cups and two Railway Stakes, and 51 at Group 2 and 3 level. Besides Singapore, Pike did ride in Hong Kong with success in 2009 and 2012.
Pike goes to scale at 54 kgs.
Tommy Berry, 28, figures among the leading jockeys in Sydney with an excess of 1,000 winners to his name, including 25 at Group 1 level, both at home in Australia, and also overseas in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Berry will be at his fifth Kranji visit. He landed the Longines Singapore Gold Cup aboard Tropaios in 2013, and the Singapore Airlines International Cup aboard Dan Excel in 2014 and 2015, paying tribute at both SIA Cup wins to his twin brother Nathan who tragically died from a rare disease while he was riding in Singapore in April 2014.
After being crowned New South Wales champion apprentice in the 2009/10 season, Berry joined Gai Waterhouse in Sydney as stable jockey alongside Nash Rawiller in April 2011.
From his first Group 1 win came aboard Epaulette in the 2012 Golden Rose Stakes, Berry has gone on to greater heights like the 2013 Golden Slipper on Overreach, the 2017 Randwick Guineas on Inference, the 2016 Australian Derby on Tavago, and four Group 1s with top grey sprinter Chautauqua, including the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong in 2016.
Since 2013, Berry has been a frequent visitor in Hong Kong, even becoming the first Club-licensed rider to win a Group 1 race on the first day of his contract when successful with Military Attack in the 2013 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
He holds a strong record of nine Group 1 wins in the former British colony with his winning streak in the Hong Kong Classic Cup, the BMW Hong Kong Derby and Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, all aboard Designs On Rome in 2014 his most famous.
Berry also won the Group 1 Champions & Chater Cup aboard quirky Pakistan Star in 2018.
After a less successful stint as John Moore’s stable jockey in the 2017-2018 season, Berry has since returned to Sydney where he rides mostly for Team Hawkes and champion trainer Chris Waller.
Berry goes to scale at 51.5 kgs.
Currently licensed by Racing Victoria, Ben Melham, 31, has ridden more than 1,100 winners in 16 years, including 60 in ‘black type’ races, broken down as 16 Group wins, and several Group 2, Group 3 and Listed wins.
Formerly indentured to Kranji-based trainers Lee Freedman and Darren Weir, Melham was crowned Melbourne champion apprentice jockey in 2005-2006.
Melham famously won his first Group 1 race aboard unbeaten mare Black Caviar as a replacement to regular partner Luke Nolen at her first Group 1 success in the Patinack Classic in 2010.
He continued on an upward spiral to go and etch his name to many big races, notably the 2017 Golden Slipper on She Will Reign, two SAJC Goodwood Handicaps, two South Australian Derby’s, one Makybe Diva Stakes and one Darley Classic. He also finished second aboard Johannes Vermeer in the 2017 Melbourne Cup won by Rekindling.
Melham is not at his first Kranji foray. Last year in March, trainer Cliff Brown booked him to ride Filibuster in the Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint.
Though he did not win, he did not go home empty-handed as he managed to get Cerdan to finally open his account at his 24th start.
Melham currently sits in seventh spot on 32 winners on the Victorian Metropolitan jockeys’ premiership. He finished in 10th position last season on 25 winners.
Melham goes to scale at 57kgs.
Boss, 49, is an Australian Hall of Fame jockey who has ridden close to 2,700 winners in 31 years of an illustrious career that began in Gympie in rural Queensland to Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne where he was champion jockey in the 2013-2014 season – and Singapore in the last three years before he returned to Australia recently in May.
Since his first Group 1 winner Telesto in the Chipping Norton Stakes in 1994, the high-profile jockey has gone on to add 91 more Group 1 wins, the most famous being unquestionably his record three back-to-back Melbourne Cups in 2003/04/05 aboard Makybe Diva. Boss also won three Cox Plates and two Golden Slippers, with only the Caulfield Cup missing from Australian racing’s Grand Slam.
While still based in Singapore back in April, he flew in for one of his frequent hit-and-run visits back home to notch a seventh Group 1 Doncaster Mile with Brutal for Team Hawkes at Randwick.
A regular visitor, both short-term and long-term in Singapore and going as far back as the Bukit Timah days, Boss notched his most famous Singapore win at a hit-and-run visit in 2010 when he landed the Group 1 Longines Singapore Gold Cup aboard Risky Business for Steven Burridge.
All-up, he has 155 winners on board in Singapore, including 11 at Group level, of which four are Group 1s – the Queen Elizabeth II Cup with Laughing Gravy (2016), two Patron’s Bowls with Well Done (2016) and Alibi (2017) and the Lion City Cup (2018) with Lim’s Cruiser.
Boss, who has also ridden in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and Dubai, goes to scale at 52kgs.