Douglas Whyte was the first person to bring him to my attention. It was about eight years ago. “This kid is very good,” said the champion South African rider. “He’s got great hands and certainly has potential. My only concern is that he’s already a tall boy. This might work against him.” It hasn’t.
During the off season, the HKJC sent now 30 year old Derek Leung to France to gain more experience by working for the great trainer Andre Fabre. One understands that Fabre, too, commented on the Hong Kong born rider’s hands. He also mentioned the rider’s attitude. Positive and always willing to learn.
“They almost never get the credit they deserve. Never!” Someone with us at the races on Wednesday night at Happy Valley was both happy and frustrated after local trainer Me Tsui, below, had trained his third winner of the night. Tsui, below, went on to train four winners in the eight race card.
Apprentice Jack H.N.Wong, often overlooked when compared to the column inches devoted to the other two apprentices riding in Hong Kong right now, and especially the expatriate riders, rode off with the Jockey Challenge. He also completely out rode Joao Moreira most of the night with a brilliant ride to win aboard Good For You. This season’s Jack H.N.Wong is a new, improved model.
The Boomtown Rats once sang how they don’t like Mondays. This past Monday, one kinda understood why.
In cricket, Australia won The Ashes and, quite rightly, Australian pride needed to be released and quieten the wonderful Barmy Army. Though rooting for neither team, I felt for England captain Joe Roots. Ashes to Ashes and all that.
In Hong Kong, Kei Chiong, the city’s only female jockey, announced her retirement. On Instagram. A surprise? Not really. It’s competitive enough for brilliant sportsmen to succeed in the pressure cooker world of horse racing. For a young Chinese girl to compete, especially against world class international riders, the odds were always stacked against her.