The Singapore Turf Club has granted a short-term visiting apprentice jockey’s licence to Australian apprentice jockey Jessica Eaton and a one-day visiting jockey’s licence to Brazilian jockey Bernardo Pinheiro.
Pinheiro, who is not at his first Singapore visit, is again booked by trainer Lee Freedman to ride Mr Clint in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup on October 20, while Eaton will be at her maiden visit as she spends three weeks at Kranji as part of a new exchange programme between the Singapore Turf Club and Racing Victoria.
Eaton, 26, is the first apprentice jockey to be selected by Racing Victoria for that programme. Currently indentured to Mornington trainer Chris Meagher, she will be transferring to Meagher’s younger brother Daniel during her stay from 28 October 2019 to 17 November 2019. Leading Kranji apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong will in return be on loan to Melbourne trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig during the racing break in December.
Hailing from Gisborne South, north of Melbourne, Eaton first became involved with horses as an event rider. Her first contact with racing came when she rode trackwork for trainer Danny O’Brien at Flemington and former Kranji trainer Mick Kent at Cranbourne, before deciding to become a jockey when she was indentured to Caulfield trainer Mick Price in 2014.
She later transferred her indentures to the father-daughter training partnership of Terry and Karina O’Sullivan at Stawell before moving to Meagher last year.
A graduate of the Racing Victoria Apprentice Jockeys Training Program, Eaton made her riding debut at Tatura on April 4, 2015 before riding her first winner Miss Burlesque three weeks later at Avoca on Anzac Day.
Up till now, she has already rung up a total tally of 112 winners, with 14 of them coming at metropolitan level in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.
The recently completed 2018/2019 racing season in Victoria saw her finish in sixth position on the Victorian Metropolitan Apprentice Jockeys' Premiership on 40 wins, eight of those at metropolitan level.
Eaton goes to scale at 51kgs, and claims three kilos at metropolitan meetings in Australia. Under the Malayan Racing Association Rules of Racing, she will be entitled to a 3kgs claim as well.
Pinheiro, 23, will be at his third pitstop visit at Kranji, having also partnered Mr Clint at his two previous stops, finishing second on both occasions in the Group 1 Singapore Derby in July and the Group 1 Raffles Cup last month.
He just wrapped up a highly-successful stint in Malaysia which began in July, and where he rode 33 winners from only 119 rides to finish seventh on the log. He is about to commence a new contract in Dubai.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Pinheiro rode his first winner at his first day of riding in November 2013. He then quickly climbed through the Brazilian riding ranks on his way to two champion apprentice jockey titles in 2014 and 2015.
Well-travelled for his young age, Pinheiro has already recorded around 450 wins. Besides his haul in Malaysia, he also won three races in Uruguay, 15 during two stints in Dubai in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons (won two Listed races at Meydan) and one in Bahrain.
Among his career highlights is the Triple Crown with filly Perfect Bullet in Brazil, including the Group 1 Grande Premio Taca de Cristal at Porte Alegro, two Group 2 wins and six Group 3 wins. Besides three Listed races won across the Causeway, Pinheiro also claimed the Malaysian Group 1 Selangor Gold Cup (1600m) on the now Cliff Brown-trained Truson on August 11.
Pinheiro goes to scale at 53kgs.