Cheyne heads for Lion City in confident mood
It seems Greg Cheyne's partnership with Richard Gibson is just beginning to fire, but unfortunately it is a week before the hard-working jockey departs for Singapore, where he hopes he can continue some of the morning work he has excelled at for the rookie trainer.
Cheyne and Gibson combined for a double with Super Caga and Kung Hei Fat Choi. The South African rider's last meeting will be at Happy Valley next Wednesday and he was happy 'to go out on a winning note'.
After struggling for opportunities at the start of this season, Cheyne poured his efforts into helping build Gibson's yard by riding trackwork.
Even though he wasn't always on the Englishman's horses come raceday, he said the experience gave him a renewed sense of purpose and momentum heading to his new home.
Cheyne made a flying visit to Singapore last week and said the culture seemed more suited to a jockey willing to do the 'ground work' with horses in the mornings.
'I went and introduced myself to a few trainers,' he said. 'It's a different environment, you work with horses more and with the trainer, which suits me. I've loved working with Richard, it's got me out of bed in the mornings and it's nice to be doing something constructive.'
Cheyne was also thrilled to have been declared Jockey Challenge winner for the first time in his 21/2-season stint, even if it was under the heading of 'others'.
The first of Cheyne's winners came when he swopped on Super Caga for back-to-back wins, this time from a touch closer in the run, in a Class Four (1,400m) contest.
'I thought being drawn one might have worked against him on the 'A' course, because he usually likes to come off the pace,' Cheyne said. 'But it panned out beautifully. I used the barrier, not the horse, and was a bit closer.'
Gibson said of Cheyne: 'It's a shame he is leaving now because we are really starting to gel.'
Kung Hei Fat Choi was more than just an omen bet, Cheyne said, having fallen to 20 in the ratings in a Class Five race over a suitable trip.
'He's had a couple of hiccups in his races where things haven't gone smoothly. He needs things to go right for him, because he is just a plugger,' Cheyne said.
'Going down the back three-deep, and coming to the turn he just got cover. But the horse has been running honest races and it fell into place. What a day to do it, I never thought I could have so much fun riding a Class Five winner.'