New Jockey Club steward Henry Tang Ying-yen is convinced the return of racing to China is merely a matter of time - and he's a man who should know. The American-educated industrialist, who won a seat on the panel of Hong Kong stewards in a hard-fought election two weeks ago, has strong political connections with China. Since 1992 he has been a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Shanghai, and is a member of the Provisional Legislature in Hong Kong. 'It's not if, it's when. And they [the Chinese authorities] can see just how successful it is in Hong Kong where, ultimately, the money goes back to the people through Jockey Club funding of so many charities,' said Tang. 'A great many tourists from China want to see the races here. This is the way it can operate in China and I am sure that Hong Kong would be asked to provide the expertise. 'We are already sending horses to them and we have offered other assistance.' He acknowledges the problem with betting in China, where it is officially banned, but drew an immediate parallel with the United Arab Emirates. 'In Dubai they are racing for the sport. And it has become a well-known racing centre even though there is no official betting. 'I think that is the way it will come first to China and then move on to the Hong Kong principle of non-profit making,' said Tang, a rider himself and an owner who has experienced more lows than highs in the racing game. He currently races low-grade maiden Dream Team. As someone who takes an interest in breeding he is still sadly shaking his head. 'He's by El Gran Senor who has had a pretty good record at stud. But not this one, I'm afraid,' he said. Better times may lie ahead in that direction. He has a Last Tycoon griffin - bought as a yearling last year by his trainer, Ivan Allan - due to arrive later in the season. The 45-year-old family man, whose father raced horses at Happy Valley more than 20 years ago, brings new blood to the stewards panel but is very hot on old values. He has no quibbles with the strong line taken by the Jockey Club in relation to apprentice and senior jockeys. 'If I was listing my priorities for Hong Kong racing, then integrity is at the very top. We are handling vast sums of money and the public must be convinced that racing is run cleanly. 'Part of the lure of racing, of course, is its great uncertainty but there will always be those who think a race is rigged, or a trainer or jockey has been up to no good if a hot favourite is beaten. 'You cannot stop them thinking that but it is imperative that we are seen to be taking a strong line,' said Tang, who will get his first experience of a racing inquiry on Saturday night. The new boy is also keen to see the quality of our racing upgraded even further. 'The International Races in December are a big occasion but it would be a lot better if these days Hong Kong horses really did have a good winning chance,' he said. 'I would like to see us with horses really competing with Godolphin. I think it is important too from an image point of view.' Tang, whose other sporting interests are skiing, and golf after a relatively recent introduction to the game, is not prepared to make any resounding comments on local racing - and the way it may go - just yet. 'I'm the new kid on the block and I want to find out a lot more before I start saying too much,' he said. But he raised one topic which might prove interesting in the near future - that of weights for Hong Kong horses. 'I have always enjoyed riding and I must say that I have never liked the thought of them carrying big weights. I've said that to Ivan [Allan] in relation to Dream Team. 'In some of the combined races we have, the better horses are carrying quite a bit of weight. I am really thinking here solely about the horse.' Proposals put forward by the Trainers' Association late last season suggested a 20-point rating frame and an abolition of the overlap. It will be interesting to see if they receive support from an unexpected quarter - after the new boy has settled in.