Douglas Whyte's scrapbook has a big blank page awaiting Sunday's $14 million Hong Kong Derby story - and the champion jockey has the horse to fill it. Though Whyte features prominently in the history of Hong Kong racing during the past half-dozen years, he has almost been a spectator in the Classic, steering around largely unfancied runners which caused no surprises. But that will all change this weekend when Whyte rides Bowman's Crossing in Hong Kong's favourite race. 'I've never been on the right horse before - this year I am,' said Whyte, oozing confidence. 'I'm very worried about David Hayes' mare, Elegant Fashion, but I would rate Bowman's Crossing as one of the better horses I have ever ridden in Hong Kong and an ideal Derby horse. 'In a race, he helps you out enormously. On another horse, you might think, 'Now's the time to press the button', then have to check yourself because you know the horse isn't going to be suited by doing that at that moment. With Bowman's Crossing, you can ride the race you want - whenever you're ready to make a run or take a run, so is he.' One view of Whyte's failure to find the right horse in a previous Hong Kong Derby is that his goal tends to be the championship each season, and to win that a rider needs to be constantly on the move from horse to horse as they become well handicapped or strike form and take their turn to win. Trainers and owners of the major Classic chances usually demand a keener romance than that. 'I don't know if that is one hundred per cent true,' Whyte said. 'I am a championship kind of man and all my career I've been keen to win them. But when a horse like Bowman's Crossing comes along, I certainly don't mind sticking with him and putting in the time.' That is something of an understatement. The gelding's trackwork patterns will be tabled in evidence if Whyte's wife lodges any complaint about how much he has been seeing Bowman's Crossing. Since Whyte rode the horse in one of his earliest pieces of work on November 27, 2001, he has been on board for another 61 gallops, all four barrier trials and five of his nine races. And since Bowman's Crossing resumed this season last September, only Dwayne Dunn has managed to unseat Whyte from the horse - for a single gallop and a race when the South African was suspended. 'Well, you know you don't want too many guys throwing a leg over him - he's precious,' Whyte laughed. 'I've been on Bowman's most of his runs, with the exception of a couple of races at the back end of last season when he was thrown in the deep end and was just struggling a bit. 'In one of those, I rode Northern Gold Ball but I was keeping a close eye on Bowman's Crossing, too, because we already thought of him as a Derby possible. I won that race but this guy ran third and knowing what I had under me - because Northern Gold Ball was going very well at that time - I said to myself that would be the last time I'd want to get off Bowman's Crossing.' Suspensions aside, that is. And Whyte has kept his part of the arrangement. 'There's no one quality about Bowman's Crossing that makes him the ideal Derby horse because he has everything,' Whyte explained. 'He has a great turn of foot, is flexible with the pace of a race, flexible with distances and his attitude is great. Where they start the Derby, the horses will have to walk around there in front of the big crowd for a little while and you can sure it will upset some of them. But Bowman's Crossing is just not fazed by anything.' Whyte is linking up with trainer David Oughton for the third year running after being well beaten on Good Heavens (2001) and Cape Of Good Hope (2002), but Bowman's Crossing is a totally different proposition. 'Good Heavens was a nice horse but the Derby came too early for him and Cape Of Good Hope, as we've seen since, is a sprinter and probably can't get any further than 1,400 metres. So for different reasons they weren't ideal Derby horses,' Whyte recalls. 'Probably my best chance in the race was Billion Win in 1999. The hot favourite that year was Resfa and I went out with a plan to beat him. It worked too - he finished fourth and Billion Win finished third - but it wasn't enough to win the race.' Oughton prepared Commander Charlie to finish second in that 1999 Derby for the same connections as Bowman's Crossing, at odds which were higher than some of the scores registered at the World Cup cricket. He added Precision for another Derby second in 2002, but has previously won the Derby with Che Sara Sara seven seasons back and is ready to lift the silverware again. 'David is renowned for his ability to have these good horses peaking on the big day and it would be fantastic to win the race for him,' Whyte said. 'We have teamed up successfully on plenty of occasions but we're more than a team, we're great friends and that would make it really special.'