As a lead up to the Optimax Apprentice Challenge 2021 to be held on Saturday, 18 December 2021, the Club organized a Barrier Draw of the Optimax Apprentice Cup on 15 December. Sponsored by Optimax Eye Specialist Centre, the Challenge is organized to provide an opportunity to the Apprentice riders to display their talent and riding skills.

On 18 December, three Class 4 races will be designated for the Optimax Apprentice Challenge, whereby only SLTC Apprentice School riders will be riding in these races. The three races are Amazing Optimax Stakes run over 1100 metres, the Optimax ‘New Vision New Life’ Stakes run over 1400 metres and the final race, the Optimax Apprentice Cup will run over a distance of 1700 meters. Points will be allocated and tabulated over the three races.  The allocation of points are as follows :-

            Winner            12 points

            Second            5 points

            Third               3 points

            Fourth             1 point

The Apprentice who accumulates the highest points will clinch the title; Optimax Apprentice Challenge Champion 2021 and will be awarded a trophy.

The Chairman of SLTC Apprentice School who is also the Deputy Chairman of the Club, Mr Clement Chew in his welcoming speech praised the Apprentices for their hard work, commitment and dedication. Since the school was formed last year, the Apprentices have been performing very well on race days and have displayed vast progress in their riding skills.

He added that, since racing resumed in September 2021, after the lockdown, the Apprentices have won 50 races out of 133 races with a strike rate of 37%. Their biggest win was during the November race meeting whereby the Apprentices clinched 14 races out of 22 races with a strike rate of 64%. The Apprentices also secured the first four places in the recent Sports Toto Supreme Challenge Cup on 5 December.

The event also saw Apprentice A Suriya wining the Ride of the Year Award for the year 2020. He was selected among the six Apprentices who won the Ride of the Month in 2020. A Suriya displayed tremendous riding skills aboard Verglatica in October 2020  (Race Video). He received a saddle sponsored by Horse City Sdn Bhd. Mr Don Clarke from Horse City Sdn Bhd presented the saddle to A Suriya.

The event was attended by the Chairman of SLTC, Tan Sri Datuk Richard Cham Hak Lim, Committee Members, MRA, representative from Optimax, Trainers, Jockeys and Apprentice Riders.