Holland awaits appeal date
Darryll Holland is keeping an anxious eye on the calendar as he awaits a date for his appeal against a Jockey Club decision not to license him next season. Holland lodged notice of intention to appeal yesterday and the Jockey Club will announce shortly when the appeal will be heard, but indications are that it could be late in the week, following Sunday's final meeting. Holland has already consulted a barrister but preparation of the appeal could stray perilously close to a date that the former British champion apprentice is mustard keen to keep - the start of Royal Ascot. While his future in Hong Kong is the current concern for the brilliant 23-year-old rider, the Royal Ascot date and a top mount in the Austrian Derby in Vienna are on his summer itinerary.
If Holland's appeal fails, good mounts and success at Royal Ascot could re-launch him quickly into English racing, although he does have a licence to ride in Japan for three months. Royal Ascot starts on June 18 and is a focal point of the British season. Former multiple champion jockey Tony Cruz received another three horses yesterday after officially being licensed from June 1. Cruz saw his initial stable strength boosted officially to four following the moves of Flying Supreme, Health First and Jade Lake.
The trio were formerly trained by Brian Kan Ping-chee, Peter Ng Bik-kuen and Alex Wong Yu-on respectively. The Neville Begg stable is beginning to break up with smart sprinter Option, who failed as favourite in the Piaget Gold Cup on Saturday night, going to successful first-season trainer Ricky P.F. Yiu. Untried Savvy Trio goes to champion trainer-elect Ivan Allan while veteran Diablo goes to Andy Leung Ting-wah. Veteran Australian trainer Begg retires at the end of the season on Sunday. Tasting significant success overseas at the weekend was brilliant young Macau rider Peter W. L. Lao.
The former champion apprentice at Taipa, who quickly outrode his claim, won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Bukit Timah in Singapore - making it another successful foray to the island republic. Lao first rode at Bukit Timah in early March and over a two-day stint rode four winners and a clutch of minor placings. Apart from taking the important QEII Cup, Lao also landed another win, a second and two thirds from a total of eight rides. In Macau, former Hong Kong champion trainer George Moore has appealed against his $40,000 fine for a horse testing positive to caffeine.