By Sharon Zhang, Singapore Turf Club
Brazilian-born visiting jockey Silvestre de Sousa steered Legacy Fortune to an easy all-the-way win to open his account in Singapore.
The three-time British champion jockey, who flew in for his main mission aboard the Stephen Crutchley-trained Fame Star in the $300,000 Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) later in the day, had four other rides at his second visit to Kranji.
Trainer Donna Logan gave him two rides in Mystery Power and Legacy Fortune on Sunday. Though Mystery Power ran second-last in the opener, de Sousa was quick to bounce back with a win on Legacy Fortune in the $50,000 Zac Spirit 2016 Stakes, a Class 4 race over 1400m four races later.
The three-year-old son of Dragon Pulse took up the running after jumping from gate three. He continued to lead in the straight but de Sousa gave a few whips of reminder at the 300m to keep his mind on the job.
With that, the $27 shot motored home to get on the scoresheet at his fifth start in Singapore. Karisto (Daniel Moor) rushed home late to finish one-and-a-half-lengths away in second, while Lim’s Craft (Bernardo Pinheiro) finished in third another neck away.
The winning time was 1min 23.37 secs for the 1400m over the Short Course on yielding ground.
The classy rider last rode here in the now-defunct Singapore Airlines International Cup in 2013, when the Godolphin Stable-owned and Saeed bin Suroor-trained Hunter’s Light ran sixth behind Hong Kong’s winner Military Attack.
Nine years later, the globetrotting jockey is happy to get his first win in Singapore.
De Sousa reckoned that the easy ride from the front helped the fleet-footed Legacy Fortune get off the mark here.
“It was a straightforward run,” said de Sousa who arrived on Thursday evening.
“Donna said he’s got plenty of speed, and no one wanted to lead, so I just went out there to ride my own race.
“He has plenty of experience on the wet ground and I was quite pleased when the rain came for him.
“They wanted to catch up, but he’s not stopping.
“He hit the line quite nicely and I think he would be even better going up to the mile.
“I’m happy to get my first win here and thanks to the connections.”
Owned by the Legacy Power Racing Stable, Legacy Fortune won three times in eight starts in Ireland (all over five furlongs) under his former name Rhythm Of Zain, earning US$23,978 in prizemoney.
He has now taken his local record to one win and two placings from four starts for total stakes earnings close to $40,000 for connections.
Logan revealed that the Thai-owned connections invited de Sousa for the ride and the decision has paid off.
“He (de Sousa) rated him beautifully from the front,” said the Kiwi handler, who bagged a four-timer on Sunday thanks to three other winners, Speedy Missile, Trident and Charminton.
“They left him alone in front and he’s got a soft lead.
“He’s got wet track form. Though he won’t sprint as he’s one-paced, but he will keep going.
“We have a world-class rider and the owner, Mr Samsok decided that we should take this chance to have him on the horse.
“Very pleased to be training for them, so congrats to the connections.”
While the happy connections and racing fans at Kranji would miss seeing de Sousa in action here, they could catch him via the overseas telecast when the new 2022/2023 season in Hong Kong kicks off at Sha Tin racecourse on September 11.
De Sousa has been given a six-months licence (August 20 to February 20) to ride at his fourth stint in Hong Kong.
But before that, he will first fly back to the UK to fulfil a few more riding commitments, including the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained three-year-old filly Flotus in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at the Yorkshire Ebor festival next week.
“I fly back to the UK tonight because I still have a few more rides, like Flotus in the Nunthorpe Stakes. She’s a nice ride,” said de Sousa, who won the International Jockeys Championship and landed a Group 1 win in the Hong Kong Cup on Glorious Forever in 2018.
“Then I’ll fly to Hong Kong on the 23rd (of August), do quarantine for a few days and then get down to work. Very excited for that.
“My wife (Victoria Behan) and three kids (Ryan, Max and Harry) will remain in Newmarket. It’s not easy, but the kids have school.
“We’ll see how things pan out for me in Hong Kong, and they can always come by for a holiday during Christmas or the New Year.”