Randy set to saddle up for Ng

RANDY Romero, one of the leading jockeys in the United States, is heading for Hong Kong.

The 35-year-old Romero, who has ridden more than 3,700 winners in an injury-plagued career, will be the retained stable jockey for Hong Kong trainer Gary Ng Ting-keung.

The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club's Licensing Committee approved Ng's application for the 1993-94 racing season, which starts next month.

Last year Romero had 302 starts, of which 29 were winners, 42 were second and 37 finished third. His prize money earnings for the year were US$1.3 million, taking his career purses to just under US$60 million.

He rode the first of his 3,711 career winners in 1973 and has also recorded 3,127 second-places and 2,688 thirds from a total of 21,144 starts.

But Romero's career has not been success all the way; far from it.

He suffered his most serious injury in April 1983 in a freak jockeys' room fire at Oaklawn Park that left 65 per cent of his body covered with severe burns.

He returned just 15 weeks later - and won with his first mount, Peppererra, who was trained by his brother.