South Australian racing has provided some wonderful opportunities for young International jockeys in recent times.
The past two SA UBET Apprentice Academy years have seen Matthew Poon from Hong Kong and Emily Finnegan from Ireland crowned as Dux of the UBET Apprentice Academy in South Australia.
Matthew Poon after his successful stint in Adelaide under the care of Richard Jolly, has returned home to his native Hong Kong where he has continued to ride with great success.
Fellow countrymen Victor Wong and Kenny Lau have followed in Matthew’s footsteps and linked up with the Richard Jolly stable, with Wong now like Poon back home riding in Hong Kong.
Also from Hong Kong and presently riding alongside Kenny Lau in South Australia are Gary Lo who is under the care of Phillip Stokes and Alfred Chan who is indentured to Lloyd Kennewell.
Japanese apprentice Ryusei Sakai is another Asian born apprentice to try his luck in South Australia and has teamed up with Ryan Balfour.
An incredible opportunity lies ahead for young Sakai this Spring in Melbourne in one of the Country’s biggest horse races. Sakai has been pencilled in for the Caulfield Cup ride in October on the Japanese horse Sole Impact. Prepared by Hirofumi Toda, Sole Impact will be looking to emulate Japanese horse Admire Rakti who won the Caulfied Cup in 2014.
Channel 7's Footy Plus Program recently visited Ryusei and Ryan - watch the video below to see the full story.
Photogrpahy by Terry Hann Photogrpahy.