No win­ter blues for Craig Grylls in Sin­ga­pore

Matamata Chronicle - - Motoring - DEN­NIS RYAN

‘‘Win­ter rac­ing in New Zealand is a pretty test­ing time for flat jock­eys and I don't mind an op­tion like this com­ing up.’’

While his col­leagues do their best to cope with the heavy tracks and ad­verse weather of win­ter rac­ing, Craig Grylls is set to spend three months rid­ing in the warmer climes of Sin­ga­pore.

Last week he re­ceived no­ti­fi­ca­tion from the Sin­ga­pore Turf Club that he has se­cured a vis­it­ing rid­ers’ con­tract, which will be­come ef­fec­tive once the nec­es­sary pa­per­work has been com­pleted.

Craig, a third-gen­er­a­tion mem­ber of Te Awa­mutu’s most fa­mous jockey family, has rid­den over­seas be­fore including a num­ber of brief stints in Ma­cau and a cou­ple of Queens­land win­ter car­ni­vals.

After mov­ing to Mata­mata on the com­ple­tion of his ap­pren­tice­ship, the 27-year-old has found his niche and now has a tally of more than 700 wins.

Craig is en­joy­ing an­other re­ward­ing sea­son with 61 wins, 10 of them at black-type level headed by the Gr. 1 Li­va­mol Clas­sic at Hast­ings on Wil­lie Cazals.

He has also rid­den a num­ber of Group Two win­ners this sea­son, the most re­cent of them Mime in the Travis Stakes at Te Rapa in late April.

‘‘I’ve ap­plied to ride in Sin­ga­pore be­fore, so it’s good to get the call-up,’’ he says.

‘‘Win­ter rac­ing in New Zealand is a pretty test­ing time for flat jock­eys and I don’t mind an op­tion like this com­ing up. They tell me that at this time of year it def­i­nitely isn’t cold up in Sin­ga­pore.’’

Craig and his Swedish-born wife Milou, who is em­ployed by Te Akau Rac­ing, are set to take a week’s holiday in Tahiti, where they will be joined by Craig’s Bris­bane-based jockey sis­ter Brid­get.

After that he’ll be pack­ing his bags for Kranji.

‘‘It’s for three months which will have me back in time for spring rac­ing,’’ Craig added, ‘‘but I’ll be do­ing my best to make an im­pres­sion up there and see where it takes me.’’

Win­ter mud won’t be some­thing Craig Grylls will have to deal with dur­ing his up­com­ing Sin­ga­pore stint.

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