Former South Australian based apprentice Alfred Chan will make his Hong Kong racing debut on Sunday at Sha Tin as he begins his new career in his hometown.
Chan arrives home after recording 100 wins throughout both New Zealand and Australia in his four years abroad and enjoyed a career best season in 2017-18 with 51 wins.
After learning from one of the best trainers in the business in Lloyd Kennewell when he first arrived in South Australia, Chan rode seven winners for his boss before moving to the Jon O’Connor stable. He flew home to Hong Kong last month but before he left SA he managed to add a Listed placing to his CV and enjoyed a couple of metropolitan doubles which shows the level of talent that the 24 year-old possesses.
During his time here, Chan also rode sprinter Dexelation to three consecutive metropolitan victories and was undefeated on that horse in his time here. He also rode 30 favourites to victory in South Australia at a very respectable 26% strike rate.
Since his return, Chan has been working for young trainer Frankie Lor who claimed two Group One’s in Hong Kong this season and Chan will be hoping to emulate the success that Matthew Poon enjoyed when he returned to his home country.
Chan will be given a 10-pound (4.5kg) claim on all his rides when he begins riding on Sunday and it was this advantage that Poon managed to make the most of which set him up in the most competitive racing scene in the world.
Australian born Zac Purton is currently dominating the Hong Kong jockey ranks with 89 wins to his name, leading Karis Teetan on 63 and Joao Moreira on 45 wins. Matthew Poon sits sixth on the standings with 28 wins.
Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Chan and Poon, 18 year-old Jerry Chau is the next apprentice from the HKJC to land in Adelaide. He’s been in the country for a couple months and is part of the in-form Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas stable. He made his riding debut last week at Balaklava and is planning on a two year stay.