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Douglas Whyte poised to snare another Hong Kong milestone

3 minute read

Revered for his extraordinary exploits as a jockey with a record 13 Hong Kong championships, Douglas Whyte’s famed appetite for achievement is showing no signs of abating as the South African searches for more success at Sha Tin on Saturday (20 April).

Douglas Whyte
Douglas Whyte  Picture: HKJC

With a record 1,813 victories in the saddle, Whyte is now only two wins short of 200 as a trainer and he has four runners tomorrow – Link, Red Elegance, Valiant Elegance and Flaming Rabbit – as he looks to add to his stable's 30 wins so far for the season.

A last-start Class 2 winner over 1600m on 31 March, Flaming Rabbit  stretches to 1800m for the first time when he contests the Class 2 Advancing Culture & Sports Handicap under regular rider Lyle Hewitson.

"He's stepping up and taking a chance," Whyte said. "He bounced back well from a freshen-up and he won with authority last time. He's won over a tough mile at Goodwood, so if he has a soft time of it (in front), he'll get the 1800m. He's vulnerable, but he should get the trip.

FLAMING RABBIT winning the KAU SAI CHAU HANDICAP
FLAMING RABBIT winning the KAU SAI CHAU HANDICAP Picture: HKJC

"He's in good form and I took the opportunity of running him. It would be too long between runs otherwise, we would've had to wait for the next mile race and trial again first."

Whyte is also represented by last-start course and distance winner Valiant Elegance , who runs in the Class 4 Empowering Youth Handicap (1200m, dirt) for Antoine Hamelin.

Successful on 16 March, Valiant Elegance's rise in class is offset by a five-pound weight drop to 117lb as he bids for his eighth Hong Kong win from 50 starts.

"He's as honest as the day is long and he comes in with a light weight. Hopefully he can run in the money," said Whyte, confirming champion stayer Russian Emperor would bypass the HK$28 million G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m).

With a total of 2,011 wins as jockey and trainer, Whyte trails only Tony Cruz, who boasts 2,448 Hong Kong victories with 946 as a jockey and 1,502 as a trainer.

Trainer : CASPAR FOWNES
Trainer : CASPAR FOWNES Picture: HKJC

 Caspar Fownes has seven entries for Sha Tin this Saturday and, after notching his 1,100th Hong Kong winner at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (17 April), the four-time champion trainer hopes Joy Of Spring  can overcome barrier 12 in the Class 4 Healthy Community Handicap (1600m).

"The draws haven't been kind to use these last couple of months but it is what it is," Fownes said. "The horse presents well again – wide gate, going to a mile at Sha Tin, I think will be quite suitable for him.

"He's only a lightly-framed horse but his fitness level is very good and Vincent (Ho) on top, so hopefully with a bit of tempo and a nice ride, we should be closing off hard."

With a full book of 10 rides, apprentice Angus Chung needs only one more Hong Kong win to reach the 70-victory graduation mark. Chung, 27, is fourth in the 2023/24 jockeys' championship with 38 wins behind Zac Purton (91), Karis Teetan (62) and Hugh Bowman (47).

Sha Tin's 10-race card starts on Saturday (20 April) with the Class 5 Racing For Charity Handicap (1650m, dirt) at 1pm.


Hong Kong Jockey Club

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