Comeback win for high-riding Yim
Simon Yim Hin-keung's reaction said it all. After scoring on Skystone in yesterday's fifth race, the former star apprentice stood up in the saddle and gestured to the crowd for more applause. And how they responded after seeing the former star apprentice land his first victory since his comeback from four years in the wilderness, cheering Yim to the rafters as he returned to the winner's circle.
Skystone's success may have come in the lowest-quality event on yesterday's star-studded card, but Yim could hardly have been more delighted if he had won the QE II Cup.
'I'm so happy,' he said. 'It's been a long time since my last winner and it's a great feeling to ride one again. I've worked hard for this and it's a dream come true to have a winner on such a big day.'
The victory came at the 28-year-old's fourth meeting since his return to the riding ranks. Yim, twice champion apprentice in the mid-1990s, was suspended in March 1997 following Independent Commission Against Corruption race-fixing swoops. Although he was never charged, he only regained his licence earlier this month.
Yim began work-riding 14 months ago as the first step to his return, linking up with trainer Geoff Lane, and it was fitting that the Australian trainer's Skystone should provide Yim with his first winner. 'I'm pleased for Simon, especially because he's done a lot of work with this horse. I told him to find the rail if he could, and he rode a good race.'
The Jockey Club's director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said: 'I'm delighted for Simon. He is hard-working and he deserves it. On a day like this, it's great to see local talents do well and we should also be proud of Howard Cheng, who had a double today.'