Andrew Harding, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director, Racing, said: “Through the process that saw Frankie Lor appointed as a trainer last year, Jimmy was interviewed extensively and it became clear to us then that it was not a question of if but when he would be granted a licence. He has both the depth of experience and the range of skills necessary to succeed as a trainer in Hong Kong.”
Ting has been involved in the Hong Kong racing industry for three decades. A home-grown talent, he became an apprentice jockey in 1988 to five-time champion trainer Brian Kan before progressing to the senior riding ranks in 1993.
Throughout his 15 years in the saddle, he won 140 races from 3,337 rides in Hong Kong, with his most prominent success coming aboard the Kan-trained Industrialist in the 2000 HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Trial (1600m), the precursor to today’s Hong Kong Classic Mile. He also tasted success as a rider in Australia, partnering three winners in Victoria during summer stints down under.
“I enjoyed my time as a rider and I had some success, particularly with horses like Industrialist and Right Way for Brian,” Ting said.
Upon his retirement from riding in 2003, he moved into an assistant trainer role with David Hill, a position he held for two seasons before joining Michael Chang in 2005, assisting the new trainer in his first three seasons. In 2008, he moved to the Francis Lui yard, holding the assistant role for five years before his current tenure began with Shum in 2013.
“When Jimmy joined my stable, he already had the credentials and the ability to be a trainer here,” Shum said. “It was just about when would be the right time. Jimmy has been a great asset to my yard, he has been very responsible and has always carried out his duties diligently.
“I’m very happy that he has his licence and I know that he will be one of my main rivals in the coming years. I have given Jimmy the advice that I received from my former boss Ivan Allan – hard work brings luck. It can be tough as a trainer in Hong Kong, but to be promoted to the position means that you have earned your spot, so if he works hard, it will see him through the ups and downs.”
Harding said: “We’ve seen over the years the importance of the pairing of trainer with assistant trainer in terms of the transfer of skills and mentoring. Jimmy has been particularly fortunate in the trainers that he has worked with and no more fortunate than the time he has spent with Danny, who has demonstrated in particular over the past few seasons his considerable ability as a trainer.
“It is part of the system that Hong Kong has developed, which works extraordinarily well. This passage of knowledge, this mentoring, this fostering of talent is essential, and on behalf of the Club I want to thank Danny Shum for what he has done to assist with Jimmy’s development.”
Ting follows in the footsteps of Lor, who has recorded the most winners ever for a freshman trainer in a Hong Kong season during the current term. However, Ting says that he will not compare himself to Lor and has no particular targets for his first season.
“I hope to have around 30 horses in my stable by the start of next season but otherwise I have not set any targets yet,” Ting said. “Frankie has done so well and of course I want to do as well as him, but I just want to concentrate on trying my best and doing as well as I can do.”
While Ting is still planning out his stable operations, he did say that, in view of his background coming through the Hong Kong apprentice jockeys system and his experience as a senior rider, he hopes to be able to provide good opportunities to current and future graduates of the Apprentice Jockeys’ School.
“It means a lot to be able to support the young local riders, just as it did for me when I was young,” he said. “I hope to use them out as much as possible and to give them support.”
In addition to his Hong Kong experience, Ting has also undertaken overseas work placements in Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Horses will begin to join his stable on Monday, 16 July, the day after the 2017/18 season concludes.