Amirul Ismadi has not taken long to get snapped right back up by Kranji trainers the moment he returned to Singapore on Monday.
The Ipoh-born apprentice jockey has just completed a three-month overseas experience in Tasmania where he brought up a decent record of seven winners, 15 seconds and 13 thirds in 89 rides.
Already a winner of 58 races during his Malaysian/Singapore six-year apprenticeship, the two-kilo claimer was among those youngsters who did not really have to struggle for rides at Kranji, but his phone is likely to get even busier with that latest Australian stint on his resume.
His name is already figuring on the double-barrelled Chinese New Year meeting this weekend with three rides on Saturday (Fortune Bowl raceday) and six rides on Sunday.
Five of his nine rides are for his Kranji master Stephen Gray (Yulong Holy Flying and Really Capable on Saturday, and Enthuse, Mr Mosa and Pusaka on Sunday). He also rides High Limit for Daniel Meagher on Saturday, and Evil Speedo and Hongchen for Saimee Jumaat and impressive last-start winner What’s New for Cliff Brown on Sunday.
The son of former jockey-turned-trainer Ismadi Ismail and nephew of Malaysian multiple-champion jockey Azhar Ismail said he enjoyed his Tasmanian attachment, even if he wished it could have been longer, but now that he is back, he can’t wait to apply his new skills to his old stomping ground.
Amirul was indentured to Brighton trainer Stuart Gandy for three months in the Tasmanian capital Hobart under a joint agreement between the Singapore Turf Club and TasRacing. He arrived there on November 13, rode his first winner Gee Gee Red Prince at Launceston two weeks later on November 29, before going on to pad up the score to seven winners.
“It was a very good experience, and I really learned a lot. A big thank you to the Singapore Turf Club for the great opportunity,” said the 23-year-old.
“I rode in races a lot more often, and barrier trials once or twice weekly and at different locations between Hobart, Launceston, Longford and Devonport.
“One aspect of my riding I really improved on was the early part of a race – how to make decisions as a jockey based on the pace of the race, the way the race is unfolding.
“Stuart helped me a lot with rides and his advice, the riding master Stephen Maskiell was also there. I also learned a lot from jockeys like Craig Newitt, Brendon McCoull, not to forget Sigrid Carr who rode here in Singapore two years ago.
“I was looking to extend my three-month stay, but because of visa issues, I had to come back. It’s okay because I also want to ride back with the boys here.”