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Singapore contract extended for Grylls

27 September 2017, 1:29 p.m.

Expatriate New Zealand jockey Craig Grylls is having the time of his life in Singapore and has welcomed the news that his initial three-month contract has been extended until the end of the year.

“I’m absolutely loving it,” Grylls said. “It has been a great experience so far and I’m starting to get on some good horses now and I’ve got some good contacts.

 
Craig Grylls aboard Charles Road after success in last season’s Gr.3 Manawatu Classic Photo: Race Images

“They have got great facilities here, a great track to ride on. It’s a good climate with great weather and my weight is the best it has ever been.

“I am just really enjoying it and I am so glad and so thankful I have been able to come here.”

Grylls said he has been working hard riding track work for a few trainers and has been rewarded with support on race day.

“It took me about a month until I had really broken into the place, but I think I am getting established here now and I am getting support from trainers which is a big help.”

The winner of 46 Group and Listed races, including eight at Group One level, Grylls has so far notched up five wins in Singapore and is starting to attain some quality rides in feature races.

He was booked to ride War Affair in this weekend’s $S700,000 Kranji Mile for fellow expat Bruce Marsh, however the 2014 Singapore Horse of the Year was struck down by injury.

He will now ride the Cliff Brown-trained Laughing Gravy in the first leg of Singapore’s Triple Crown series.

“I was on War Affair, but he has pulled up lame after a bit of work on Saturday, so he is out,” Grylls said. “I rode Laughing Gravy in his last start in the Committee’s Prize (1600m).

“He didn’t go too bad fresh-up, he probably just blew out being fresh-up over the mile. He’s definitely a staying type of horse, so as long as he has improved and comes through that last run well he’s got to be some sort of hope. He’s a quality horse up here.”

With the lure of the lifestyle and prizemoney the Lion City offers, Grylls is hoping to continue riding at Kranji for some time to come.

“I could see myself staying here for a while,” he said. “You don’t have to travel, I live six minutes in a cab ride from the track, I have an electric scooter which I ride to work, everything is pretty convenient.

“It’s an expensive place to live but I haven’t got that many utilities or anything like that so I am able to save quite a bit and the money is very good here.

“The prize money from winning a race and even second and third, and the riding fees are very good so I am able to save a lot of money, which is a great point of being here, being able to set yourself up for life.” – NZ Racing Desk.