Leading jockeys Douglas Whyte and Derek Leung offered a glowing appraisal of the tracks and facilities at the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s new Conghua Training Centre (CTC) on the Chinese Mainland after riding in a number of gallops at the site this morning (Friday, 13 July).
Following yesterday’s arrival of the first 21 in-training horses at the Conghua site, Whyte and Leung partnered retired horses from the Racing Development Board (RDB) stable in fast work on the large all-weather track, the turf course and the turf uphill gallop at CTC. Both grass tracks had never been galloped on before today.
Whyte, a 13-time Champion Jockey, said: “You couldn’t fault the tracks, they felt perfect. If anything, the turf track itself rides better than Sha Tin so that’s a huge positive. You’ve got a beautiful bend that is longer than you think. I was expecting a Sha Tin-like bend where you take the corner and then suddenly you are at the next one, but this one just keeps turning and turning – it’s a longer, gentler, kinder turn. It’s a beautiful straight, too – the uphill towards the finish post seems to be a slight incline, unlike Sha Tin where it runs downhill and then flattens. It reminds me of a track like Hanshin in some ways.