By Hans Ebert
A few years ago, many of us in Hong Kong would look at the race card and draw a line over whatever it was that Douglas Whyte was riding. He seemed to be thrown some scraps and just going around for the hell of it and probably far more interested in having the opportunity to ride a winner in Perth. And which he did until the HKJC correctly changed the Rules about Hong Kong based jockeys making those often fruitless overseas flying visits.
Today, however, it’s a very different Douglas Whyte. He has forged a strong partnership and bromance with trainer John Moore and “Butch and Sundance” seem to be working towards their next career steps. Even a blind man can see that.
Whyte is being offered some very good winning chances from the veteran trainer whereas the Moore Group 1 Collection belongs to Zac Purton with, perhaps, Silvestre de Sousa becoming Moore and Moore involved in these high profile offerings.
Douglas Whyte seems non-plussed by any of this. It’s about keeping his name in lights with everything looking to be part of a bigger plan.
He’s still riding winners. That winning ride on Sunday aboard Moore’s exciting young sprinter Styling City when he combined the skills of Houdini with the miracles of Moses to get out of being surrounded by the cavalry was wonderful to watch.
Douglas Whyte is riding like a man possessed. Not possessed to win another Hong Kong Jockey Premiership. He has thirteen of theses. Driven, more than possessed, to get to the next chapter of his career.
Until then, he’s back riding for Caspar Fownes and Dennis Yip after quite a long banishment in the wilderness- rides for the malleable Francis Lui, the occasional ride for Tony Cruz, and a somewhat successful new bromance with Chris So. True, Cas.
Though Douglas Whyte knows how to work a room and which hands to pump- and when- there are still no rides for him from Tony Millard or John Size. Not that one thinks he cares.
This evening, the Moore Whyte Cha Cha combo has a couple of winning chances- and at odds. Sadly, the same can’t be said about a few other expat jockeys. With no stable support, rides have not only dried up, they’re not there. And if not riding winners, well…
How much longer before kiwi James McDonald is offered a license to ride in Hong Kong?
Will, however, he prefer to ride for Godolphin…in the UK? Time will tell. Did we mention that James McDonald is a New Zealander? Relax, Hong Kong racing fans with long memories. There’s no need to go all the way back to the synchronised racing days of Peter Miers, Glyn Pretty, Bill Burnett, Gumbo, Rod Staples, trainers Bob Burns, Rod Turvey etc.
More immediately and looking ahead, Things To Do:
* Snare the massive Triple Trio jackpot up for grabs at Happy Valley racecourse tonight.
* Write a film script based around aliens from outer space landing on earth and at a race meeting at Happy Valley. Quentin Tarantino to direct.
#HKracing #DouglasWhyte #JohnMoore #StylingCity #QuentinTarantino #JamesMcDonald #Godolphin