Wonder boys to take HK by storm

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2011, 12:00am


Hong Kong will play host to not one but two of Europe's young glamour jockeys this winter, with Maxime Guyon set to return and Mickael Barzalona to make his first appearance here.

The jockey roster promises to become quite crowded mid-season, with 26 jockeys and apprentices going to be on the list by early December.

British jockey Neil Callan will be the first arrival, scheduled to ride from November 13 until the end of February, but most interest will be in the two French wonder boys.

Baby-faced star Barzalona, 20, was the sensational winner of this year's Epsom Derby for Andre Fabre aboard Pour Moi, and has been talked about in Europe as a likely successor to Frankie Dettori as the first rider for Godolphin.

Barzalona has already formed an association with the powerful Dubai yard, riding plenty of winners for Godolphin in Britain as well as claiming the UAE Derby on Khawlah on World Cup night in March in the famous blue silks.

With likely commitments at the Dubai carnival from early January, Barzalona will ride only for the period of December 1 to new year's day.

Guyon, 22, proved popular with fans in his first stint last season, riding 15 winners from his 175 rides. Guyon was instantly a hit with fans and confirmed his star status after being responsible for the change in riding tactics on Ambitious Dragon that unlocked his brilliance, with Guyon claiming Group Ones on the gelding in the Classic Cup and Hong Kong Derby.

With Douglas Whyte having taken over successfully in Ambitious Dragon's subsequent two runs, the QE II Cup and National Day Cup, the connections of the Horse Of the Year will need to swing one way or the other regarding the Cathay Pacific International Races.

Guyon is expected to arrive in early December and will be licensed from December 7 until mid-February.