Douglas Whyte enhanced his legend with another milestone win at Happy Valley this afternoon (Sunday, 28 October), the 1,800th of his Hong Kong career.
The omens had looked good heading into the city track’s only daytime fixture this term. A book of seven rides included some obvious chances, but when the penultimate of the day’s 10 races came around, the 13-time champion jockey was still on 1,799 with two second placings to frustrate and a 10/1 shot as his next conveyance.
“You get to that stage where you think it’s not going to happen today. Sometimes you get to 99 and that last one can take a while to get over the line,” Whyte said.
But the South African kept his cool and the portentously-named Good Omen delivered in the Class 3 Ting Kau Handicap (1650m).
“I kept positive and rode him the way he needed to be ridden rather than in a way that I might have wanted to,” Whyte said of Dennis Yip’s charge, zero from eight in Hong Kong prior to today.
“This horse has taught me a lot,” he explained. “He’s been difficult and yet also uncomplicated – I mean that in the sense that if he gets a good draw and you try to place him, as soon as you get on the bridle he just feels like a Class 3 or Class 4 horse; but when you get him to sleep and he gets into his rhythm he’s got a really good turn-of-foot. He’s put them to bed in a couple of hundred metres there.”