French jockey Gerald Mosse has a simple message for his supporters in the midst of speculation that Sunday’s Sha Tin feature meeting could be his last day of riding in Hong Kong: “I’m not finished and I will be back.”
In a career spanning more than three decades, 631 wins and partnerships with some of the greatest horses in the jurisdiction’s modern history, Mosse has collected more big race silverware than any other jockey in Hong Kong, holding the remarkable record of being the only rider to have won every single Group One on the racing calender, including each of the four international races.
After being denied a club jockey licence for this season, Mosse formed an association as stable retained rider for Manfred Man Ka-leung but mounting suspensions have brought that professional relationship to an end – but not his career, and the 49-year-old will continue riding in Europe.
“Right now the suspensions mean it is a difficult time and the situation has just put too much pressure on Mr Man. I want to thank him and the other trainers for the support but right now it isn’t working,” said Mosse, who has also won every major French classic. “But my career is not over, it’s not the end of the line. I love Hong Kong and it is my intention to come back no matter what, I will organise to either apply to get a club jockey licence or stable jockey licence and make a fresh start next season.
"I have been in Hong Kong for more than half of my career, I know the system very well and I believe the Hong Kong people want me to be here. I want to ride at least two more years because this is what I love to do, I love it more than anything else, it has given me a great life and I will eventually switch to doing something different when I feel like it – but not yet.”
Mosse, who has ridden 17 winners this term, returns from suspension with rides in both Group One features, but another careless riding suspension begins the following day and keeps him sidelined until May 13 – after which he plans to start again in France, seeking support from former boss Alain de Royer-Dupre and British trainer Clive Cox.
“I still enjoy what I am doing and I’m going back home for the summer and I am going to enjoy my horses, my family and my friends – the main thing is that I’m a happy person and I will keep riding,” he said.
Part of Mosse’s unparalleled big race resume was perhaps the most famous Champions Mile win ever, and one of racing’s greatest ever upsets, when Bullish Luck broke the unbeaten sequence of champion sprinter Silent Witness in 2005.
Mosse rides Packing Pins in this year’s race, with Ricky Yiu Poon-fai’s lightly raced five-year-old stretched to a mile for the second time in his career after a solid third over 1,200m behind Lucky Bubbles and Amazing Kids when resuming from a short break in the Group Two Sprint Cup.
“Packing Pins is a really nice horse, I’m very confident after he ran so well for me last time and barrier one will help – he should be able to run a bit of a race,” Mosse said of a horse that can be a tricky ride, having raced too keenly to finish off a mile strongly earlier this season when fifth in the Group Two Jockey Club Mile. “Hopefully there is some more pace in the race this time, he should be able to settle better.”