Chin comeback talk crushed

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 April, 2007, 12:00am

The Jockey Club last night crushed speculation of a Stanley Chin Kin-Ming return, denying his comeback winner in the Hong Kong-Macau Trophy would lead to his being invited back into the Hong Kong jockey ranks.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Jockey Club's chief executive, said last night Chin's crimes against racing were 'just too great' for the club to ever consider relicensing him.

Chin returned in triumph on Crown's Master in the HK$2.3 million interport feature at Sha Tin racecourse, with the Joe Lau-trained five-year-old scoring by three-quarters of a length in near course record time. Chin, who was jailed for three years for his role in a race-fixing scandal, has won many Group races in Europe and Dubai. He is licensed by the Macau Jockey Club.

'Really, I am very pleased with the way things are going for me in Macau and I have no intention at this stage of applying to ride in Hong Kong,' Chin said. 'But that's not to rule it out. I haven't given up hope that some day I might ride here again.'

The twice-yearly Hong Kong versus Macau friendship races have given Chin, 32, a perfect opportunity to showcase his talent and he made no mistake on Crown's Master.

It is understood some influential owners have been pushing to have Chin return on the basis that he has served his time and made an admirable comeback to race riding.

He had 10 races on yesterday's 11-event card. Only premiership contender Olivier Doleuze had more.

However, Engelbrecht-Bresges was unmoved, and suggested the licensing committee would see things much the same way.

'Stanley Chin was found guilty of the worst crime in racing, and that's fixing races,' Engelbrecht-Bresges said. 'Now while I completely understand that he's done well to get his life back in order and has been riding well in Macau, there is no obligation on the Hong Kong Jockey Club to invite him back.

'Having a licence in Hong Kong is not anyone's right. It is a privilege. And inviting back a jockey convicted of race fixing would send out the wrong message entirely about Hong Kong racing and would only serve to diminish public confidence in the sport.'