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Luckless Queiroz redeems himself on first Singapore winner

August 2, 2023 at 3:33:57 AM

After four seconds and one third in seven rides, jockey Bruno Queiroz finally booted home his first Singapore winner, Exceed Natural, in the $30,000 Class 5 race (1600m) on Sunday.

After four seconds and one third in seven rides, jockey Bruno Queiroz finally booted home his first Singapore winner, Exceed Natural, in the $30,000 Class 5 race (1600m) on Sunday.

Eager to follow in the footsteps of his godfather and superstar jockey Joao Moreira, the 22-year-old Sao Paulo native arrived in Singapore two weeks ago for his first venture overseas but could only manage two placings in seven rides at his Kranji debut last Sunday.

With two Brazilian champion jockey titles (2019/2020 and 2020/2021) and a recommendation from Moreira, it was not surprising to see Queiroz well supported with 11 rides at his second meeting.

Watch Out Boss and King Of Sixty-One settled for seconds but Fireworks was close to bringing up the young Brazilian's first win in Singapore before he was nosed out on the line by the Stephen Gray-trained Clergyman.

Grand Supreme then lost by a head to Bransom in the next race, stringing up three seconds in a row for the unlucky Queiroz.

Fans who were waiting to see Moreira's godson work his magic were slightly disappointed, but Exceed Natural would soon bring up the cheers.

Trained by Desmond Koh, the nine-year-old son of Red Giant settled in second last for Queiroz while Atlas (Matthew Kellady) led the pack.

Under a patient and well-timed run from Queiroz, Exceed Natural ($17) winded up strongly on the outside, eventually sprinting past Blue Idol (Bernardo Pinheiro) for a one-length win.

Atlas hung on well to finish in third another one-and-three-quarters length away. The winning time was 1 min 35.68secs for the mile on the Long Course.

Queiroz was greeted with uplifting roars of "Moreira!" from his enthusiastic supporters at the Grandstand building upon his return to the winner's circle on the 2019 Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) winner (when known as Star Emperor).

The close relationship and connection between Queiroz and Moreira would have brought back memories of the Magic Man when he rode in Singapore from 2009 to 2013, hence the exhilarated reaction from the handful of local fans.

Queiroz, whose jockey father Antonio is still plying his trade in Rio de Janeiro, was all smiles after weighing in. With the help of his compatriot and interpreter Pinheiro, the Portuguese-speaking lad shared his thoughts on his first win at Kranji.

"I'm so happy now," said Queiroz, who has won 14 Group 1 races in more than 900 wins since making his debut in Brazil five years ago.

"I've been hungry for a win since the start of the meeting. It was a pity that I finished second on four rides (before Exceed Natural won), but that made me want to win even more.

"After my first win, I was so happy and relieved. I'm looking forward to more now.

"The place (tracks) is so beautiful here. A big thank you to everyone who helped me so far, especially Moreira, Dass (head valet) and all the trainers who had given me good rides and support.

"It's still very early in the morning in Brazil (11 hours behind Singapore) but Moreira and my family still followed and watched my races, so here's big kisses and hugs to them!

"I was happy to settle him (Exceed Natural) at the back. I was not worried about being the widest in the straight because my horse came very fast.

"I'm also taking private lessons with an English tutor and studying English every day, and Bernardo also helps whenever he can too."

With five wins and eight placings in 54 starts, Exceed Natural has taken his earnings to over $250,000 for Koh.

The promising rider also placed second on the Tim Fitzsimmons-trained Gold Ten Sixty-One in the Class 3 race won by Major King (see later report) in the penultimate race, before he went one better again with an all-the-way win atop Hurricane ($27) in the $50,000 Class 4 race (1200m) for the Australian handler.

"I watched Hurricane's last run (scored easily in a Class 5 race over the same trip on July 8) and was very confident he can win this time," he said.

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