Vincent Ho has been selected to compete in the Shergar Cup at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, 10 August and Hong Kong’s rising star is looking forward to the challenge.
Ho, 29, enjoyed his best ever season in 2018/19. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Apprentice Jockeys’ School graduate stacked up 56 winners, 17 more than his previous best, and ran away with the annual Tony Cruz Award which is presented to the season’s leading homegrown rider.
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m grateful to Ascot for inviting me to go and to the Hong Kong Jockey Club for supporting me. It’s one of my dreams, to ride at Ascot, so I’m very happy and I’m looking forward to it,” Ho said.
“I’ve been there to watch the King George, when Gerald (Mosse) was riding there, so I have some idea of what to expect. I’ve watched Royal Ascot, I’ll watch some more videos and I’ll definitely walk the track as well before I ride there. It’s a high profile occasion and it’s going to be fun – exciting.”
The former champion apprentice wound out his stellar season with a win in the term’s very last race at Sha Tin on Sunday, 14 July aboard the David Hall-trained Fast Most Furious. In keeping with his reputation for hard-work and dedication to continuous improvement, he packed his gear and immediately jetted to Britain for a summer stint based at Mark Johnston’s Middleham yard.
Ho experienced race-riding in Britain for the first time last summer, having previously spent summers riding in France. His first mount proved to be a winner as he scored on the Johnston-trained X Rated at Haydock.
“It’s been a year since I was there, so I’ll just go there to learn and I don’t expect too much,” he said. “Even if I don’t have winners I’ll still learn something. A winner is a bonus, it’s all about improving: to go around the world, learn as much as I can and come back here stronger next season.”
The rider also won two Group 3 contests during the campaign just ended. He guided the Hall-trained Ho Ho Khan to success in the Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap (2400m) and partnered the highly-regarded Rise High to victory in the Premier Plate Handicap (1800m).
Mr. Andrew Harding, Executive Director, Racing at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “The Club places a high emphasis on investing in homegrown talent and Vincent is yet another successful endorsement of the Club’s commitment to grow local talent.”
“Vincent’s dedication, hard work and skill has paid off over the last eleven months and it is fantastic to see our Tony Cruz Award winner invited to the famous Shergar Cup. We wish Vincent all the best and hope he enjoys the experience riding against some of the world’s top jockeys on 10 August.”
Filip Minarik (Team Europe), Tadhg O’Shea (Team Great Britain & Ireland), Hayley Turner (Girls) and Yuga Kawada (Rest Of The World) will captain the four teams at this year’s Shergar Cup. Ho will join Kawada’s team with their third and final member yet to be confirmed.
Australia’s Jamie Kah and recent Women Jockeys’ World Championship winner Nanako Fujita will join Hayley Turner on the Girls team, while Danny Tudhope will represent Great Britain & Ireland.
The last Hong Kong homegrown star to contest the Shergar Cup was Matthew Chadwick in 2012. He carried off the Silver Saddle trophy as the competition’s leading rider.