Jockey Derek Leung booked his spot as a LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship representative with a flourish, bookending the card at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Leung, last season’s Tony Cruz Award winner for the leading local rider, had all but locked in the berth heading into Wednesday night’s meeting with a three-win buffer over Keith Yeung. However, his double aboard Golden Glory and Magnetism saw him confirmed as one of four Hong Kong representatives for the jockey series, with Zac Purton and Karis Teetan also joining Joao Moreira in flying the Bauhinia flag at Happy Valley on 6 December.
“I am honoured to be able to represent Hong Kong,” Leung said. “It is always a big deal to be able to ride against some of the best jockeys around, but I cannot wait. Hopefully I can do Hong Kong proud.”
It will be the third straight year that Leung represents Hong Kong. He finished fifth in 2015, while he failed to accrue any points when equal 11th last year.
“I haven’t had the best book of rides in either year that I have ridden,” Leung said. “I feel that I am riding in terrific form currently, so if I get a better group of horses, hopefully I can perform strongly.”
Leung took the opener, the Class 5 Dumbarton Handicap (1200m), aboard Francis Lui-trained Golden Glory.
“He seems to be a different horse this season,” Leung said. “He’s matured a little bit and the change of stable, change of routine, seems to have switched him on. He’s not as weak as he once was, he handles it all a bit better now, and he also cornered better tonight.”
Derek Leung returns after scoring his second win of the night on Magnetism in the Class 3 Stirling Handicap.
He then added the last, the Class 3 Stirling Handicap (1650m), on David Ferraris’ Magnetism. It was the second leg of a brace for Ferraris, too, having earlier saddled up Douglas Whyte-ridden London City to win the first section of the Class 4 Hamilton Handicap (1200m).