LEADING English jockey Darryll Holland was yesterday confirmed as stable jockey to Geoff Lane. Holland, a former champion apprentice who made such an impact here with 28 winners during a six-month stint earlier in the season, had been expected to clinch the job by Wednesday at the latest. But exciting young Australian rider Patrick Payne was also in the hunt for the Lane retainer which became available once David Hill decided he didn't want a stable jockey for next season. Lane said yesterday: 'I will put in the papers to retain Darryll during racing on Saturday evening. 'I'm delighted to be able to have a stable jockey again and delighted it is such a top rider as Darryll. 'But it wasn't an easy decision to make as Patrick is himself a very good rider indeed, very good. But in the end I had to think about Patrick's weight as he is only 20.' Lane said that Holland may be forced to miss the first couple of months of the season as his contract with Mark Johnston in England runs until November 12 but he doesn't envisage any problems clearing this with the Jockey Club's licensing committee. Johnston has been using other riders besides Holland since the start of the British Flat season and it wouldn't be a surprise if Holland was able to finish his contract early and be out here for the start of the coming campaign. Speaking from England, Holland said yesterday: 'This is a great career step for me. I reckon I improved my riding considerably by coming to Hong Kong and am really looking forward to working with Geoff. I rode him a few winners and found him very easy to work with.' Lane has informed Holland that he is clear to take outside rides when not required for his own stable which means the Englishman is likely to be in demand with local handlers Wong Tang-ping and Gary Ng Ting-keung as well as Hill. A measure of Holland's success is that despite returning to England three months ago, he remains fourth in the standings. The accomplished Payne will not be lost to local racing. He is likely to be granted a three-month spell as a Club Jockey at the end of next season.