Champion jockey of Hong Kong for the past twelve seasons, Douglas Whyte returns from suspension ready to roar with a powerful set of rides at Sha Tin at Tuesday’s Chinese New Year meeting.
Hong Kong racing may be best known overseas for the December internationals, the biggest meeting of the year for local fans is the one to celebrate the Lunar New Year and Whyte will be hungry to chew into Zac Purton’s five-win lead in the championship.
In the day’s main event, the Chinese New Year Cup, Whyte replaces Gerald Mosse on Flash Knight for John Moore and you can bet Whyte was pulling all the strings he could to get the ride after Flash Knight’s last start.
He finished fourth in a Class Two a month ago over the same course but should have bolted in after Mosse got caught up in traffic in the straight.
This is a class rise but Flash Knight looks right up to the grade on his big previous start win.
Elsewhere on the day, Whyte links with John Size and some promising younger horses, Little Men, Sea Dragon and Holyangelholy who will all take beating.
Sea Dragon had a big reputation before his debut and was backed as if unbeatable, but his backers had an easy ride as the Thorn Park gelding never looked out of second gear winning up the straight in the style of a very good prospect. Whyte has given a good pointer, too, taking the ride on this gelding at what is probably quite a light weight for him after two weeks without race rides.
Little Men will be short odds but should justify that in the third race. He also had big support on debut at 1,200m when third as favourite but ran well enough and will improve for the experience and the step up to 1,400m.
By Nathan Mody