South African jockeys have a rich and successful history in Hong Kong and young gun Luke Ferraris – the son of currently licensed Hong Kong trainer David Ferraris – is eager to add further gloss to his nation’s racing heritage in the world’s most competitive jurisdiction.
Following in the footsteps of highly successful compatriots Douglas Whyte, Basil Marcus, Felix Coetzee and Robbie Fradd, to name a few – Ferraris, at just 19 years of age joins the riding ranks as the second-youngest expatriate rider awarded a contract in Hong Kong history after Michael Walker in 2003.
“There were a bit of mixed emotions – having grown up here I have seen how tough and competitive it is but riding back in South Africa, the more success I had the more my confidence grew and if you’d asked me at the start of my career whether I would be here at age 19 – I probably would have laughed.
“As time went on and I rode in big races getting the results that I wanted, Hong Kong became more of a dream turning into reality – I’m happy and honoured to be here,” Ferraris said.
Ferraris honed his craft at the well-regarded South African Jockey Academy, this came a few years after shadowing father David around the stables at Sha Tin Racecourse in his youth.
“I was born in South Africa but moved here at a very young age and for the early part of my childhood I grew up here going to trackwork with my father. It feels a little bit different to be riding trackwork but at the same time I’m very excited and happy to be on the other side of the fence,” Ferraris said.
The youngster has enjoyed a stellar 2021 with five Group 1 wins, including a G1 Cape Town Met (2000m) triumph aboard Rainbow Bridge. His South African Triple Crown success this year aboard Malmoos included a pair of G1s and was the fourth in history with only Horse Chestnut (1999), Louis The King (2014) and Abashiri (2016) accomplishing the feat before him.