Holland books early passage to join Lane
ENGLISH riding star Darryll Holland will be back in the territory for the night meeting at Sha Tin on October 4.
Retaining trainer Geoff Lane intimated last week that Holland could be arriving ahead of his original November schedule due to the breakdown of his arrangements with Mark Johnston in England.
Holland was on the phone to confirm this with Lane late on Sunday. He will fly out directly after the big Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket on September 30.
Speaking from England yesterday, Holland said: 'There's no real point hanging around once the Cambridgeshire is over.
'I've got a couple of good irons in the fire as far as that race is concerned so I can't leave until it has been run.
'But to be honest I'm actually itching to get out to Hong Kong and start helping Geoff and getting back among the winners out there. 'This is a very exciting time for me. I know it will be different from last season when I rode freelance but I'm sure it will work out and can't wait to get stuck in. It's a challenge but one I'm eager to take on.' Lane was in similarly upbeat mood yesterday. His stable numbers have been boosted from around 30 in the past two campaigns to 45 for the season ahead and he thinks having a stable jockey again should be another big plus factor. 'With Darryll arriving early and the build up of my stable numbers things are looking really good,' he said. 'The feedback from Darryll after trackwork in the mornings should be a big help and so should his riding on racedays. 'What's more he knows he's not coming here for a holiday. He's got an attitude I like and while he's young for a stable jockey I can always stand over him a bit. I've already told him that.' Holland was a revelation in the territory last season. Arriving as an unheralded former top apprentice who had somewhat lost his way in England, he left with 28 winners to his name after a six-month stint. He was fourth in the jockeys' premiership.
Meanwhile, International Vase third Wonderful Way has been given a 60-40 chance of returning to the fray as good as ever by trainer Ivan Allan. Wonderful Way put up a brilliant performance in last season's Vase as the first two, Red Bishop and Urgent Request, went on to triumph in Group One events in the United States.
But leg problems have sidelined Wonderful Way since the Vase though he has been back in slow work for some time. Yesterday Allan said: 'It will be revealing to see how he stands up to some fast work in a week or so and then how he handles his first race after that. 'If he takes his first race then we are probably there. I'd say that we have a 60-40 chance in our favour of getting him back as good as ever.'