Welsh rider given longer spell

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 12:00am

Welsh jockey David Harrison had his initial licence to ride in Hong Kong extended yesterday - but the axe fell on Frenchman Freddie Sanchez.

Harrison rode in this year's Melbourne Cup and won last year's Hong Kong Derby on 132-1 shot Holy Grail. He can now ride here until March 15.

'I am absolutely delighted to be staying on,' he said. 'I think it has been quite a good spell for me so far and this gives me a chance to build on what I have done.

'I was hopeful because I think the Licensing Committee knew that there were trainers willing to support me.

'I just try to be available for those who want me and do the best I can.' But the topsy-turvy career of Sanchez will officially end on January 31 following the refusal of the Licensing Committee to extend the period of his existing licence.

Sanchez came first as a Club jockey for the final three months of last season and rode chiefly for Patrick Biancone. He then signed on as his stable jockey for the present campaign.

When Biancone was suspended for 10 months after one raceday this season, Sanchez found himself jobless but was granted a Club licence until the end of January.

Harrison has ridden eight winners to date while Sanchez has been successful on six occasions.

Controversial apprentice Roger K. H. Yu, whose ability has tended to be matched by his waywardness, will be sitting on the sidelines until January 2.

Yu was found in possession of a mobile telephone in the apprentices' hostel which is a breach of regulations.

He was suspended while the Stewards and Licensing Committee discussed the issue and the ban has now been extended to January 2. The Licensing Committee heard evidence from Yu, his allocated trainer, Ricky P. F. Yiu and racing officials.

Yu confessed to having the mobile phone but the Licensing Committee decided the talented claimer would be punished for the breach of regulations and also for giving unsatisfactory evidence earlier in the case.

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