Shea's HK stint pays off

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 April, 2008, 12:00am

Kevin Shea didn't have the best of stints as a club jockey in Hong Kong this season but was quick to acknowledge yesterday the role his time at Sha Tin had played in yesterday's QEII Cup win on Archipenko.

Shea struggled bravely without real opportunity for his four winners during the first half of the season before seeking a release to join Mike de Kock's Dubai-based team.

With a huge payday on World Cup night that included the Sheema Classic win on Sun Classique and some hefty stakes winning placings including World Cup runner-up, Shea's decision had already reaped big rewards even before yesterday's sweet victory to show the Hong Kong fans what he can do.

'Sometimes it pays off to do the groundwork - even if you don't know you're doing it,' Shea (pictured) laughed after the Cup win. 'Riding here for four months was a big plus for me today, just knowing the track and how the racing works here and it's great to come back here and be able to win a race like this with a Dubai horse.

'When the chance to link with Mike came up, I was very appreciative that the stewards here realised what an opportunity it was and released me from my contract a bit early to go to Dubai.'

Shea said the emphasis may be different in Dubai, but it was all about the same hard work and concentration on detail as anywhere else.

'It's a different feeling there in the racing scene - Dubai being a non-gambling racing centre and Hong Kong being very accented on gambling - but we're still there doing our best for the owners and I'm feeling part of the place,' Shea said. 'It's been an awesome four months there.'