Nunes wins Mauritius series, Powell stood down

After an encouraging start to the 2019 Attitude Hotels International Jockeys’ Weekend in Mauritius on Saturday, Kranji jockey John Powell was left bitterly disappointed after he was stood down at the second leg on Sunday.

Powell hurt his hip after he was thrown off and landed awkwardly on his feet when his first ride Anza-Borrego (third in the race) stopped abruptly at the pull-up.

Manoel Nunes is crowned IJW 2019 champion
Manoel Nunes is crowned IJW 2019 champion Picture: Michael Lee

The veteran Australian jockey felt some pain, but thought he could press on, even winning the next race on board Carlton Heights, but knew he was in trouble the next morning.

The pain had worsened overnight. He still went to the Champ de Mars racecourse hoping against hope, but the Mauritius Turf Club doctors delivered the bad news when they declared him unfit to ride.

Picture: Michael Lee
IJW 2019 winner Manoel Nunes (right) with the other 11 contestants (left to right): Surender Srinath (India), Swapneel Rama (Mauritius), Jameer Allyhosain (Mauritius), Jason Collett (New Zealand), Derreck David (South Africa) with daughter Mila, Dinesh Sooful (Mauritius), Nooresh Juglall (Mauritius) with son Aryan, Aurelien Lemaitre (France), Jason Watson (UK) and Manuel Martinez (Chile). Absent from photo are John Powell (Singapore) and Randall Simons (South Africa) who were stood down, and Nishal Teeha (Mauritius) who had already left the track.

"Yesterday, my first ride slammed on the brakes at the crossing upon pulling up. I landed on my feet, and thought I'd be okay, and carried on riding," said Powell.

"But last night, I couldn't sleep, and in the morning, I went for a walk to free it up, and even tried to soak it in a hot bath, but it was still hurting.

"Very disappointed that I couldn't ride today as I wanted to be out there. I had such a great first day, but that's the way it is at times."

Ending Day 1 in eighth place on 11 points (nine points for the Carlton Heights win and another two from the third place on Anza-Borrego), only 13 points off the leader Manoel Nunes, Powell had been looking forward to improving on his score, but it wasn't to be.

Still, the thrill of riding again before a public he knew so well from his Mauritius riding days in the 90s and mid-2000s went some way in easing the disappointment and the pain.

The fact that his six Sunday rides given to two local jockeys, Swapneel Rama and Dinesh Sooful, didn't win (best result was a third place on Black Indy for two points) were also of some comfort.

"I still had a great time riding again in Mauritius, catching up with old friends - and riding a winner was even better," said Powell who finished in 10th place from the 14 competing jockeys (including two replacements).

"It's not the end I would have wanted, but at the same time, I don't think it would've made much difference to my score as my rides today didn't do much good."

It was former three-time Singapore champion jockey and current Mauritius champion jockey Manoel Nunes who consolidated his Saturday lead (from only one winner – Greatfiveeight – and many placings on Saturday) with another three winners – All Aboard, Haylor and Zigi Zagi Zugi - on Sunday to claim the top prize hands-down. The Brazilian totalled up 52 points, 14 ahead of UK's latest whizz kid Jason Watson.

The final standings to the IJW 2019 is as follows:

Jockeys Country     Points
1 Manoel Nunes                Brazil                              52
2 Jason Watson UK     38
3 Nooresh Juglall Mauritius   31
4 Jason Collett New Zealand   23
5 Manuel Martinez Chile     21
6 Surender Srinath India     20
7 Jameer Allyhosain Mauritius   18
8 Dinesh Sooful Mauritius   15
9 Derreck David South Africa   13
10 John Powell Singapore   11
11 Nishal Teeha Mauritius   10
12 Aurelien Lemaitre France     10
13 Randall Simons South Africa   5
14 Swapneel Rama Mauritius   2

Singapore Turf Club