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Shankar Muniandy has returned to Malaysia

(Shankar Muniandy)

Shankar Muniandy, who had major success as a jockey when employed by White Robe Lodge, has returned to his birthplace of Malaysia to continue riding.

"My opportunities here have dropped away and I made the decision six months ago that this would be last season in New Zealand,'' said Muniandy. He has been freelancing from a Wingatui base more recently.

He won group three races for the WRL stable on Inferno (Canterbury Gold Cup in 2011 and 12) and Tommy Tucker (2018 White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age) and the listed Riverton Cup in 2017 on Patrick Erin. He rode Inferno in all her 10 wins, including the Clare Memorial Gold Cup at Omakau and the Waikouaiti Cup for owners Brian and Lorraine Anderton.

"I have been in New Zealand 12 and a half years. It has been a good experience. Brian and Shane (WRL trainers) really looked after me and it was a big thrill to win the  White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age for them on Tommy Tucker."

Muniandy (31) has won 215 races in New Zealand with his best tally 40 wins in the 2010-11 season.  Muniandy began riding work for trainer Lim Hoon Seng  in Malaysia. He came to NZ in 2006 to work for Murray Hamilton at Omakau. After six months he became indentured to Brian and Shane Anderton. He had his first win on the WRL -trained Nows The Time at Invercargill in March, 2008.  His riding tally includes a  win over hurdles on Gold Leaf at Wingatui  in June, 2016. He was awarded a scholarship  by the NZ Thoroughbred Racing to ride in Australia in 2011.

Muniandy had a group one win on Indian Jade in the Perak Gold Vase  at Perak in June, 2017 when back in Malaysia on leave for the winter.

Indian Jade paid $73 to win and $19 for a place in the 150,000 ringgit (NZ$47,925) 1100m race when he prevailed by a head. Muniandy was riding  the 7yr-old  British -bred Indian Jade for the first time.

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Raise The Flag mare Princess Brook posted her ninth win and took her stake earnings to $199,590 with success in a $35,000 open 2200m at Wingatui on Boxing Day. The WRL-trained Zabay capped placings in her three other starts this season with a win over 1400m the same day.

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WRL jockey Jacob Lowry won the listed  $50,000 Timaru Cup for the third time in the past four years when he rode Boots 'N' All for Riccarton trainer Lance Robinson on December 28. Lowry won the race in 2015 and 16 on the WRL -trained Tommy Tucker.  Boots 'N' All finished second to Kolonel Kev last year. Robinson won the Timaru Cup as a jockey on Westbourne (1997), Diaga (1999) and Titsgitten (2008).