You have to go back 24 years to find the last time a home grown Hong Kong jockey won the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m). That rider was Tony Cruz and on Sunday (17 March) the city’s favourite horse racing son will look to one of the new wave of talented local jockeys to deliver an overdue follow-up.
Vincent Ho will partner the handler’s Ka Ying Star in the HK$18 million contest just as he has in each of the gelding’s three lead-up races – a debut victory followed by third-place in both the Hong Kong Classic Mile and the Hong Kong Classic Cup. The rider is enjoying a profitable season, ranking fifth in the premiership with 30 wins.
“Vincent’s an improving jockey,” said Cruz, who won the Derby four times as a rider (1983 Co-Tack, 1987 Tea For Two II, 1988 Clear City, 1995 Makarpura Star) and is seeking a third success as a trainer (2004 Lucky Owners, 2008 Helene Mascot).