Rodd opens account in Australia

Michael Rodd just booted home his first winner since his return to Australia due to the pandemic lockdown in Singapore.

Jockey : Michael Rodd
Jockey : Michael Rodd Picture: Patrick Scala/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey scored aboard debutant and short-priced favourite Capital Zous for in-form trainer Lindsey Smith in a Maiden race over 1200m at Hamilton on Tuesday. It was his only ride at the country Victoria racecourse – where he holds a handy strike rate - and his sixth overall since he flew out on April 30.

At his first meeting at Flemington on Saturday, the 38-year-old Australian jockey was reunited with his pet horse at Kranji, 2016 Singapore Horse of the Year and the former Cliff Brown-trained Debt Collector, now known as Debt Agent. Outpaced early in the mile race, Debt Agent, who has yet to score in seven starts for his new handler Jim Conlan, made ground late to run an encouraging fifth to Reykjavik.

Based in Singapore since 2015, Rodd is one of four jockeys to join an exodus of sorts that began with Daniel Moor right at the start of the Singapore racing shutdown in early April. He was the last to leave and the last to get on the scoresheet as well.

Alysha Collett - the only Kiwi while the three others are Australian - and Patrick Moloney are the other two. They have all picked Australia as their new base, with only Moor not intending to return to Singapore when racing resumes.

Moor has already won five races while Moloney and Collett rode four winners between them. Moloney has three winners (Beauty Betty, Mischievous Lad and Crash Cranach) on the board while Collett, who contrary to her male counterparts, has picked New South Wales, won on Advance Party at Kembla Grange on May 19.

The other seven foreign jockeys have stayed put in Singapore, patiently waiting for racing to resume, with, however, no date set as yet. With no permit granted to ride trackwork since the last meeting on April 3, they have all been facing the daunting challenge of maintaining their fitness and weight while cooped up at home.

The current COVID-19 lockdown known as Circuit Breaker ends on June 1, but a latest Singapore Turf Club press statement announced that any restart of racing activities will not occur until June 30.

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