Senior rider Craig Grylls wasted no time in returning to the winner’s circle in New Zealand when he guided promising three-year-old Ocean Go to victory at Te Rapa on Sunday.
Grylls returned to New Zealand with wife Milou earlier in the week after a successful 18-month stint in Singapore.
After riding unsuccessfully at Trentham on Saturday, Grylls didn’t take long to get back to his winning ways when he produced a patient effort to secure the first victory for the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Ocean Go at just his third start.
Settled well back off a hot early speed, Ocean Go was spotting the leaders a conservative six lengths early in the run home but kept coming resolutely to snatch victory by a nose from a game Spring Delight.
“I thought it was a really good performance,” Andrew Scott said.
“He’s really sustained a long run and, while he looked like he was going to pick them up at the 100m, the other horse kicked hard so it was some performance.
“It’s fantastic for Craig to get the monkey off his back and it’s so good to have him back.
“He’s such a hard-working guy and he’s going to be a better rider after a trip like that under his belt.”
Grylls admitted he sill had some work to do on his fitness as he was breathing heavily after the race.
“Definitely the fitness needs a lot of work,” he said.
“It was a good performance as he settled back like we planned and I then got in the three-wide train.
“He’s found the line very strongly although he started to lay in the last bit.”
Grylls rode 44 winners during his 18 months in Singapore and finished seventh on the jockeys’ premiership last season with 35 wins. He has ridden 713 winners in New Zealand including eight at Group One level. – NZ Racing Desk