Noonan in demand in Macau
03 Aug 2012 | The Asian Young Guns Challenge hasn't started yet, but top Victorian apprentice Jake Noonan is already making a big impression in Macau.
The Mornington youngster is Australia's representative in the series that brings together the best young riders from Australia, Macau, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa, but has secured a ride in an additional event.
Noonan will ride Easy Money for leading local trainer Stephen Chow in the feature event on the twilight card this Saturday, the Singapore Turf Club Goodwill Cup.
“They must be short of riders over here for me to get an opportunity in a race like that,” Noonan said with a chuckle.
“But it's a good opportunity. It's one of the smaller Cup races over here, so it's nice to get a ride in it and hopefully I'll have a good chance too.”
But his focus is the Asian Young Guns Challenge, in which Australia is the defending champion following the success of Jordan Mallyon at last year's series, which was held at Flemington.
Noonan, Victoria's leading apprentice in 2010/11 despite missing the final three months of the season, finally got his chance after being unavailable the past two years.
He flew out Monday on afternoon and has spent much of the week mixing with his Asian Young Guns Challenge rivals, while he took part in trackwork yesterday morning.
Yesterday also saw the announcement of rides and allocation of barriers for the three Young Guns heats, which each offer points 25-15-10-7-5-3-2-1 to competing riders, and Noonan has landed rides on Australian-bred horses in all three 12-horse heats.
He will partner Happy Strength from barrier seven Heat 1, has drawn eight with Happy Forever in Heat 2, while Turquoise Dane – a son of Redoute's Choice and Wakeful Stakes winner Timbourina – will start from five in the final heat.
Noonan will wait until closer to race time to do the form, but was content with his book and said he should get his chance if the breaks go his way.
“I could have drawn better, but I could have drawn a lot worse,” he said. “I don't know much about the form yet, I'll get around that later in the week, but from what I've looked at they look handy enough rides.”