Trainer Hutchison still waiting for licensing decision
A decision on the racing future in Hong Kong of long-serving Australian trainer Bruce Hutchison was deferred by the Licensing Committee.
Hutchison was the only current trainer not re-licensed by the Jockey Club at their meeting yesterday to decide on licences for next season.
Local trainer Lam Hung-fie withdrew his application some time earlier and announced his retirement.
Lam, who will continue to run his small stable until the end of the season, will take up a position as stable supervisor at the Beas River Country Club with effect from July 1.
Lam said: 'I am very pleased that they offered me the post and I was delighted to accept it. I have enjoyed some good seasons as a trainer but it has been hard recently.' The committee deferred its decision on the Perth-born Hutchison until they examine documents he presented to them.
Former trainer Tony P.H. Chan, who attended a hearing of the committee, was refused a licence for the new season and advised of his right to appeal.
Chan was suspended following an ICAC swoop two years ago. He has not been licensed since.
Local rider and former champion apprentice Jackie C.K. Tse had his licence re-instated by the committee.
Tse was suspended in January after a positive test showed that he had used marijuana.
Tse will have to ride in a series of barrier trials to the satisfaction of the stipendiary stewards before he is declared to ride in races.
Jailed jockey Ricky C.W. Choi is now an ex-member of the profession. The Licensing Committee withdrew Choi's suspended riding permit. He was recently jailed for a year following an ICAC probe into race-fixing charges.
Wendyll Woods was given a stiff five-day suspension at Sha Tin last night for his riding of Auction Venture in the last few strides of the opening event on the programme.
Auction Venture had led in the Class Six all-weather sprint, but was under pressure close home. The stewards found that Woods' riding out at the finish had cost the horse third place. Auction Venture finished fourth.
Retaining trainer Lawrie Fownes said: 'I can't possibly believe that was a five-day offence. In any other jurisdiction he would have been done for excessive use. He cut it in half down the straight.' Racing roundup - Page 32