Malaysian jockey Shafrizal Saleh will ride his final meeting at Kranji on Saturday before relocating to China in a few weeks. There, he’ll be based as a track rider.
With Singapore racing concluding in 2024, the 35-year-old Penang-born jockey has made his next move. He will join the likes of former Singapore and Malaysia-based jockey Zuriman Zulkifli and former Singapore Turf Club head starter Damien Kinninmont at the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s mainland training facilities in Conghua.
In an article published by Michael Lee for The New Paper, Shafrizal said:
“The Gold Cup day was meant to be my last, but I’ll ride at one more meeting.
“I’ve got five rides for now, three for Gray – Simon, Augustano, Hugo – Zygarde for Kah Soon, and Strong Ace for Mahadi Taib. Hopefully, at least one of them wins.
“I’m then suspended (careless riding) for two meetings, but I had already decided to stop.
“Once my visa is approved around end of November, I just need to book a flight. It’ll probably be either Dec 8 or 9.
“I’ll be a bit sad this Saturday, as I’ll miss race-riding. But, with racing closing in Singapore (on Oct 5, 2024), I had to think of my future and find another job.
“Damien Kinninmont (former Singapore Turf Club head starter) works with the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Conghua now. He helped me apply for a job as a track rider there in August.
“I also discussed with Michael Clements and Saimee Jumaat, and they both encouraged me to go.
“To be honest, I’d rather be a jockey. But I have a family to feed – two boys, Shazael and Shaqeel, and a girl on the way in January.
“This offer is better than nothing. But I’ve not given up hope that I’ll return as a jockey one day.”