Krisna makes Kranji debut on Southern Dragon on Sunday

Krisna Kumar Thangamani is the new apprentice jockey for the Ricardo Le Grange yard, and will be unveiled for his Kranji riding debut this Sunday.

The 24-year-old has been in Singapore for a month, and has often been seen riding trackwork and at barrier trials, mostly for Le Grange. His first Kranji ride is Southern Dragon for the South African handler in the $60,000 Any Humour 2009 Stakes, a Class 4 race over 1400m.

New face: Krisna Kumar Thangamani at the barrier trials on Thursday, picture Singapore Turf Club

The former Kuala Lumpur-based apprentice jockey moved down South on the recommendation of Penang trainer Sharee Hamilton even though he was actually indentured to Richard Lines.

Krisna, 24, hails from Penang but moved to the Malaysian capital for better opportunities. He, however, does ride for New Zealand-born Hamilton whenever he goes back to his hometown.

“It’s Sharee who recommended me to Mr Le Grange. He was looking for a new apprentice jockey after Mohd Firdaus left,” said Krisna.

“It’s the dream of every apprentice jockey to ride in Singapore and when the opportunity came up, it was like a dream come true.

“I have to say a big thank you to my boss Richard Lines for letting me go, but also to Sharee for her help.”

Krisna, whose other passion is football, said he came to racing through his uncle who is a farrier in Penang.

“Since I was of small size, my uncle suggested I become a jockey. That’s how I started,” said Krisna who has 23 winners under his belt, and is still fifth on the Malaysian apprentice jockey’s log on seven winners.

“I learned a lot in Kuala Lumpur, but this is a new chapter in my riding career, and I’m really excited at the opportunity.

“I’d like to thank Mr Le Grange for giving me my first ride this Sunday. I have galloped and trialled Southern Dragon in trackwork, and he seems to be a nice horse.

“The only question mark is his barrier 12 from 12, but I will go out there and try my best. I hope he runs well.”