The Singaporean rider has been riding in red-hot form since taking the lead from Mohd Firdaus for the first time in mid-July when he won aboard Super Six. He has since added another five wins while his closest rival has unfortunately been struggling to regain his form since a leg injury sustained in April.
See currently sits atop on 19 winners, five clear of Firdaus and seven clear of David Hill’s apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen.
While it is not the kind of space that the Shafiq Rizuan’s and A’Isisuhairi Kasim’s had already put between themselves and the chasing pack at this stage en route to their champion apprentice jockey titles in previous seasons, See felt that having the yellow jersey on was always an advantage and he just had to manage it until the last meeting.
“Now that I’m leading, I’m obviously very keen on winning the champion apprentice jockey title,” said the 28-year-old jockey.
“More so after I once heard I had ‘absolutely no chance in the world’ of winning the title as I was coming back to scales after I won on Muscular Sprinter. Everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but that has motivated me to prove a point.
“But above all, I’m going for it for myself, because it would mean the world to me if I can become champion apprentice jockey this year. It’s been a lot of hard work and sacrifice and it would be very rewarding if I won.”
While a cushion of five wins is comfortable, it is by no means unassailable, a fact not lost on the young man.
“I’m in front and in a good place, but I have to give due respect to Firdaus and CC Wong as they are really good riders. It’s unfortunate Firdaus hurt himself and CC has had many placings,” said See.
“But the race is far from over as we still have three months to go. Compared to me, Firdaus and See have a lot better bullets than me, but I will try to hold on with my own bullets, which are not too bad either.”
One such bullet See is pinning his hopes on to stretch his lead further this weekend is Maximus, an impressive last-start maiden winner in a Restricted Maiden race over 1100m on July 29. The US-bred three-year-old by Lemon Drop Kid is entered in the New Zealand Racing Board Trophy, a Novice race over 1100m.
“The horse has pulled up good since his win and has been working well. He had a nice gallop on Tuesday,” he said.
“It’s a small field, but the way I see it, it’s a much tougher race this time, especially with Lightning Fast and Distinctive Darci.
“Looking at the way Lightning Fast won the other day, pulling up way before he reached the wire and still clocking a good time (1min 5.37secs for the 1100m), he will be hard to beat. Distinctive Darci also won well and in a good time (59.01secs for the 1000m).
“But my horse stands out in terms of class. He’s a horse I know well and he showed plenty of class at his win; he was fighting all the way to the line.”
“It’s a tougher ask this time, but he will definitely finish in the top four.”
Trainer John O’Hara agreed with his apprentice jockey Maximus faces a sterner test, but he was going well and win or lose, he will get better over more ground.
“It’s a small but very competitive field. The horse has trained on and worked well in his gallop on Tuesday,” said the Singaporean trainer.
“Having said that, bear in mind he’s more of a staying type. He can only get better with more racing.”
Listed - Native Upmanship Novice Chase
Listed - Oaks Trial
Listed - Derby Trial
G3 - Sycamore Sprint
G2 - Colorado King Stakes