Trainer Richard Gibson combined with jockey Matthew Chadwick to record a historic first race win at the inaugural Hong Kong Jockey Club race meeting at Conghua Racecourse today (Saturday, 23 March), marking a new era of horseracing in the Greater Bay Area.
They won the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (1200m), with the Edmond Yue Kwok Yin-owned Nordic Warrior, which opened the five-race card at the first meeting conducted in the Mainland under the Jockey Club’s jurisdiction in collaboration with the Conghua District Government.
Gibson was delighted to be first on the training winner’s list at Conghua and said the victory fulfilled a prophecy he’d made when he first arrived in Hong Kong for the 2011-2012 season.
“Absolutely this is a very big buzz and big career moment to win the first race here in Conghua and Matthew gave the horse a wonderful ride and we’re delighted. From the moment this race came on our radar we targeted this horse for the race. We expected the pace to be very strong, we know our good horse is a good finisher and Matthew gave him a wonderfully cool, calculated ride.
“I did say when I got the job in Hong Kong I wanted to be the first winner in Conghua. If you look back at the press conference, I said that in quite a loud voice. I’m looking forward to training here, our horses are doing great here and it’s great to be part of history today and to get the Cup from [HKSAR Chief Executive] Mrs Carrie Lam is obviously an extra privilege for us as well,” Gibson said.