“I learnt a lot of the riding skills required to be a jockey, without those I probably couldn’t have made it back to Hong Kong,” Chan, 24, said during trackwork at Sha Tin this morning (Friday, 29 March).
“I’m very grateful that I was sent overseas, I learnt a lot about riding,” he added.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club sends apprentices overseas to gain valuable experience. Chan spent his time abroad in New Zealand, before crossing the Tasman Sea to ride in Australia, and returns with 100 wins under his belt.
Chan attended the Hong Kong Sea School in Stanley and was part of the Hong Kong sailing team, but after seeing a TV programme about the Hong Kong Jockey Club Apprentice Jockeys’ School, decided he wanted to switch from navigating the ocean to riding in horse races.
“I like sport, I don’t like sitting in the office, I would rather do sport as my career, this is why I have become a jockey,” Chan said.
Chan’s dream to ride in Hong Kong became a reality when he received a phone call in February from Amy Chan (HKJC Apprentice Jockeys’ School headmistress) to inform him that he had been granted a license to ride.
The young jockey will claim 10lb with a minimum riding weight of 105lb, and is indentured to recent BMW Hong Kong Derby-winning trainer Frankie Lor, who provides two out of his six rides on Sunday, including the prized mount on four-time winner King Opie in the Class 2 Tolo Harbour Handicap (1400m).