I must move on, says Singapore-bound Cheyne
With next month's Licensing Committee meeting expected to see changes to the riding line up for the back end of the season, out-of-fashion Greg Cheyne has made the first move and will join the Singapore roster after completing his contract on February 1.
The South African has not applied for an extension after struggling for valid opportunities and finding his application to Singapore Turf Club received positively.
'I will start there basically as soon as I finish here, which fits in well and allows me to see out my time in Hong Kong,' said Cheyne, who has been based at Sha Tin since the start of the 2009-10 season. 'I don't know much about Singapore but I didn't know anything about Hong Kong before I came here and my family and I have loved it here. We will be sad to leave, but I'm not getting much support, so I have to move on.'
Cheyne rode 14 winners from 374 rides in his first season, but linked with trainer Tony Millard last season to win 11 of his 84 rides for the South African trainer, the lion's share of his own 19 wins for the season and a sizeable percentage of the yard's 37 victories.
After Cheyne had six unplaced rides for him in September, Millard turned his back on Cheyne, who has battled for worthwhile rides from other yards and has won just two of his 103 mounts this term.
'Not having that sort of mini-base to work from feeds on itself - other trainers don't see you riding a winner and therefore won't put you on a chance and it becomes self-fulfilling,' Cheyne said. 'I've never been afraid of working hard at trackwork to earn a chance but it doesn't seem to be helping now.'
Cheyne's move to Singapore, and the widely-rumoured departures of Jeff Lloyd and Brett Doyle, will ensure some changes to the jockey line-up for the latter part of the season when Licensing meets on January 13, with New Zealand's whiz kid James McDonald rumoured to be one sought-after name following his good showing in the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys' Championship earlier this month at Happy Valley.