Sacred Sea’s (NZ) (Sea The Stars) fighting win on Friday might have come in a modest Class 4 Non Premier race, but Ryan Curatolo’s wide smile at the weigh-in spoke volumes about why it meant so much to the French jockey.

Curatolo was riding on a crest of a wave back in June-July, even figuring among one of the early live contenders for the title, but a series of careless riding suspensions clipped his wings.

When Curatolo comes back in between time on the sidelines, he does try to snap the run of outs, but to no avail – until Sacred Sea finally popped up in a three-way go to scrape home by a nose in the S$45,000 race over 1800m.

“It’s great to be back in the winner’s circle,” said Curatolo.

“A big thank you to Mark Walker, the owner (Raffles Racing Stable) and the Singapore Turf Club for the opportunity.

“He seemed to like the whip in the left hand, the more I dug, the more he found for me. He didn’t shy away.

Walker said the return to the all-weather did the trick for Sacred Sea, a Sea The Stars five-year-old who was shedding his maiden status in Singapore at his 12th start.

“This horse has been unlucky here. I ran him on grass by default last time as the Polytrack race I had in mind for him did not have enough entries and was cancelled,” said the Kiwi handler.

“The run on grass was not that bad, but the return to Polytrack suited him better.

“Ryan was also hungry as he hasn’t won for a while and he rode the horse very well. It’s also great for races to have Dato Yap Kim San here, it’s great to see his colours winning.” -STC