Ryan formalises agreement
ENGLISH jockey Willie Ryan yesterday agreed terms with Gary Ng Ting-keung to become his stable rider for next season.
Ryan, currently attached to top Newmarket handler Henry Cecil, flew into the territory on Sunday with his wife Alison and left last night in a whistle-stop tour. He will be back riding at the Midlands track, Leicester, this afternoon.
He had a good look at Ng's team and also popped across to Happy Valley for a talk with chief stipendiary steward Bernard Hargreaves.
Ryan said: ''I'm definitely coming to ride for Gary next season. There have been no problems in agreeing terms.
''I'm looking forward to the fresh challenge immensely. I was very impressed when we went round the stable and feel I'm coming out here to ride for someone who is going places.'' Contracts will be signed once the Jockey Club have approved the retainer but that is no more than a formality.
Ryan, 28, besides finishing seventh in the British jockeys' standings last season with 105 winners, is soccer crazy.
He added: ''The one thing I'm going to miss about England is going to watch the Arsenal. I'll have to get the boys to come out here on tour!'' Ryan also had plenty of Derby news as Cecil, his guv'nor, has three of the first four horses in the betting in favourite Tenby, soft-ground performer Armiger and Mick Kinane's mount Commander In Chief.
Ryan rode in the same piece of work as Tenby's crucial Derby gallop last Wednesday and is tipping him to win the Blue Riband.
''It will have to bucket down for Armiger to run,'' said Ryan. ''Both Tenby and Commander In Chief are really lovely colts.
''They are very, very decent operators indeed and Henry has them in great form.
''But if I had the choice of mounts I would definitely side with Tenby.''