Kuala Lumpur, Jun 21 –

Three Singapore based expatriate jockeys — Bernado Pinheiro, Ruan Maia and Ryan Curatolo — will be crossing the causeway this Sunday to spice up the resumption of Three-Year-Old racing at Sungai Besi after a lapse of several years.

The Selangor Turf Club will host the RM100,000 3YO Pacific Cup to be run over 1200m, along with the RM50,000 TNI Charity Cup, a Supreme B race staged over 1300m.

Pinheiro, a crowd favourite at Sungai Besi, will ride the unbeaten ANTIPODEAN in the Pacific Cup. The New Zealand gelding will aim to stretch his winning run to six races.

Maia has been booked on LUCKY MAGIC, a NZ$75,000 two-year-old purchase who finished fourth in his racing debut three weeks ago.

Curatolo has been nominated on SUNNY DAY, but the filly has yet to win six starts and is the 1st. emergency acceptor in the Cup.

Curatolo, however, will ride the Perak Derby winner TRIUMPY in the TNI Charity Cup, coming up against Pinheiro on PASIR PINJI, last year’s Selangor Gold Cup winner. Maia will sit out this race.

Pinheiro first came to Malaysia in 2019 and took local racing by storm, riding 33 winners within a span of a few months. The highlight of his success that year was riding five winners on GYARADOS, SACRED GALAXY, MR WOLFF, RACE FOR FAME and FLASH ONE at Sungai Besi on September 21.

Pinheiro has gone on to ride successfully in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Currently based in Singapore, he makes the short trip to Kuala Lumpur whenever his service is sought. He has ridden six winners at Sungai Besi this year.

Maia did very well at his first full Singapore season in 2020, finishing a close runner-up to Vlad Duric in the Singapore jockeys’ premiership.

Tipped as champion material the next season, he duly lived up to the hype by taking the early lead. But Kranji never got to find out if he could go all the way. He was lured to Hong Kong, bowing out of Singapore the winner of 71 races, including five at Group level.

Competition was much tougher in Hong Kong, though. After booting home 40 winners from February 2021 to May 2023, he decided to return to Singapore, but changed his mind when the closure news came through in June 2023.

Instead Maia made his way back to familiar territory — Macau, where he was champion jockey twice (2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons).

With the closure of Macau racing, he is now back in Singapore but has only ridden seven winners thus far this time.

Curatolo returned to Singapore for his third stint this year after first appearing at Kranji for a one-day visit in 2017, then a 11-month stay the following year.

He rode in France, USA and Macau before coming to this part of the world. He went on to ply his trade in Qatar and Dubai and spent one and a half years in California before returning to Singapore. He is currently fourth in the table at Kranji with 23 winners.