The Licensing Committee of the Hong Kong Jockey Club has granted a trainer’s licence to Douglas Whyte for the 2019/2020 season. With an unmatched record of 13 successive titles as Hong Kong champion jockey, more than 1800 local winners and success in almost all of the Club’s Group 1 races Whyte is one of the titans of Hong Kong’s world-class racing, and is now set to open an exciting new chapter of his career.
Whyte’s final day of riding will be at the race meeting at Sha Tin on 10 February. He will then spend several months augmenting his skills by spending time with leading trainers around the world before returning to Hong Kong to establish his stable for the commencement of the new season.
“Douglas Whyte is an extraordinary talent who has already made an enormous contribution towards Hong Kong racing achieving its world-class status. His skills as a horseman are exceptional and will provide him with an inherent natural advantage in transitioning from highly successful jockey to highly successful trainer. Having been part of the fabric of Hong Kong for two decades Douglas knows the workforce and facilities and understands the training systems at Sha Tin and now also at Conghua. He also has the respect and trust of Owners to build a very strong stable and continue to contribute to our world-class racing.” said Mr Andrew Harding, Executive Director of Racing, the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“This is only the second time in recent history that the Licensing Committee has issued a trainer’s licence to a current jockey, the first time being the licensing of champion jockey Tony Cruz for the 1996/1997 racing season. Douglas Whyte is in the same elite category and he has every characteristic necessary to make the transition from riding to training and continuing to play a major part in both maintaining our existing reputation for world-class racing but also propelling Hong Kong racing to even new heights.” said Mr Harding.
“I was incredibly excited to receive the call that my application had been successful,” said Mr Whyte. “I have made Hong Kong my home for the past 21 years and have worked diligently to contribute toward making the horse racing industry in the Special Administrative Region, one of the best in the world. I owe a great deal of gratitude to the city, its people, the Jockey Club and the many members whom have supported my work as a jockey.” “It would be an understatement to say that I am looking forward to this challenge. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the Licensing Committee for giving me this unique opportunity.”
The Licensing Committee also granted a trainer’s licence to John Size for the 2019/2020 season and determined that he would remain eligible to continue to be licensed until the 2023/2024 racing season inclusive provided he continues to meet the criteria set down by the Club.
“The Licensing Committee’s policy is that elite-level trainers may be granted a licence beyond the age of 65. Having commenced training in Hong Kong during the 2001/2002 racing season, John has been crowned Champion Trainer on a record 10 occasions. In all bar one of the 17 racing seasons he has since completed, John has been in the top 5 on the Trainers’ Championship in respect of wins and/or prize-money earned. While renewal of trainers’ licences are normally considered at the Committee’s June meeting the Licensing Committee believes that it is in the interests of Owners that the decision be taken and announced now that John will be licensed for the 2019/2020 season and will continue to be eligible for licences up to and including the 2023/2024 season.” said Mr Harding.