Ricky Yiu sealed the champion trainer title at Happy Valley on Wednesday (15 July) night to fulfill a lifelong dream, and he did it with a smile and a shrug.
With Hong Kong in the midst of a coronavirus ‘third wave’, the famous Valley crowd was not there to cheer his remarkable feat, and there was no presentation to mark his victory. Yiu was fine with that.
“I’ve really achieved my goal, this is the peak of my career, but a lot of people are more excited than I am; the owners on WhatsApp were messaging me ‘Add oil’! The staff are very happy – I’m happy too, but I don’t have this excitement,” the first-time champion said.
“I’ve been in horseracing all my life – winning, losing, it happens every meeting so I take it very easily. Even when Sacred Kingdom won the Hong Kong Sprint, I kept quiet, I don’t know why, it’s just me.”
Despite his coolness, the sense of the achievement was not lost on the handler, whose career goes back to 1972 when he joined the first intake at the apprentice jockeys’ school; a career that has brought Group 1 successes with the world champion sprinter Sacred Kingdom, with Amber Sky in Dubai and Ultra Fantasy in Japan.