Shafiq delivers a five-star performance at Selangor

Popular jockey Shafiq made his mark at Selangor with a five-timer.
Popular jockey Shafiq made his mark at Selangor with a five-timer.

Former Singapore champion apprentice jockey Rizuan Shafiq rode to victory five times at Selangor Turf Club’s inaugural mixed programme on Sunday. Held at the Sungai Besi track, this event marked the successful reconstruction of the main track, with four races taking place on the No. 2 track and the remaining six on the newly refurbished main track.

Born in Kelantan, Shafiq’s riding career began in Singapore in 2011, where he quickly made a name for himself with 37 wins in his debut year, finishing 10th in the overall jockey rankings. He captured the apprentice title in 2015 with 54 wins, placing him fifth among jockeys. Despite facing some setbacks, including a one-year disqualification that ended in June of the previous year, Shafiq’s return to racing has been nothing short of impressive.

Shafiq is currently awaiting an appeal hearing against a two-month suspension penalty incurred for allegedly failing to ride to the satisfaction of the stewards at Selangor on Sunday, May 5.

Sunday’s five victories have propelled Shafiq to fourth place in the jockey standings with a total of 18 wins this season.

Shafiq’s winning streak began with PACIFIC PRIME, a horse he first rode in February. This time, they easily clinched the open race, marking PACIFIC PRIME’s first win in Malaysia. Shafiq then secured three consecutive wins with OLYMPIA, HAPPY PRINCESS, and FATAL ATTRACTION.

Former Kranji-trained OLYMPIA has flourished in Malaysia with five wins, while HAPPY PRINCESS, having been promoted from Class 5, lived up to her odds-on favorite status by winning the Class 4 1150m sprint with ease. Meanwhile, FATAL ATTRACTION, racing for the first time in Malaysia, scored a decisive victory.

The highlight of the day was ANTIPODEAN’s performance in the Metro A set-weight event over 1400 meters. ANTIPODEAN, a horse with an unbeaten streak of five wins, delivered a spectacular race, overcoming some of the toughest competition to maintain his flawless record. Shafiq’s tactical acumen was evident as he maneuvered ANTIPODEAN to victory, outpacing last year’s Coronation Cup winner GOOD FIGHT and Perak Derby champion TRUMPY, who finished second and third, respectively.

Trainer Simon Dunderdale, who purchased ANTIPODEAN for just NZ$23,000 at the Ready To Run Sale, has meticulously prepared the horse for success. ANTIPODEAN’s journey from a novice to a dominant force in local racing is a testament to Dunderdale’s training prowess and the horse’s exceptional talent.

Shafiq’s outstanding achievements at the Selangor Turf Club have not only showcased his skill and determination but have also set a high bar for the local racing scene. His ability to guide horses to victory and his strategic race management have cemented his reputation as a jockey to watch in the coming seasons.

As the racing world turns its attention to future events, Rizuan Shafiq’s name will undoubtedly be at the forefront, a beacon of excellence and perseverance in the thrilling world of horse racing.

Author: iRace