Hong Kong racing will have a new 10-pound claiming apprentice when Dylan Mo Hin-tung joins a jockey roster otherwise devoid of new faces for the start of next season.
Mo has ridden more than 40 winners in New Zealand and will start at September’s season opener after the Jockey Club’s licensing committee approved the apprentice to ride during a meeting yesterday.
The 22-year-old started his riding career in South Africa but a lack of opportunities saw him shift to the New Plymouth stables of trainer Allan Sharrock, under whom Kei Chiong Ka-kei worked before making her whirlwind debut this season.
It was not announced to which stable Mo will be indentured, but the rider of 46 wins from 526 rides at a strike rate of just under 8 per cent will be in demand after Chiong outrode her 10-pound allowance.
It is rare for a season to begin without at least one new foreign jockey making a debut at the first meeting, and although the rumour mill had Australian jockey Blake Shinn a likely starter, next season’s roster will contain no senior jockey that is not already riding at Sha Tin and Happy Valley.
Of the current group of foreign jockeys, only Gavin Lerena will not return, but heavyweight New Zealand jockey Opie Bosson will be given a chance to push for a full-time spot with a three-month licence to start the new term.
Bosson is yet to ride a winner in 49 rides since starting in late April but the 35-year-old is determined to make Sha Tin his new base.
“Hopefully a fresh start can make the difference and I do feel like I am building up some contacts now,” he said.
“I feel like it was hard coming in on the back end of the season, but maybe we can start kicking some goals right away to start the season.”
Of the local riders, jockey Jacky Tong Chi-kit had already notified that he would not reapply for a licence next season and although all other jockeys will return, the committee noted the disciplinary record of Howard Cheng Yue-tin and warned that any breach of running and handling laws would result in a show cause notice for the jockey.
The committee also resolved that if trainers Sean Woods and Andreas Schutz fail to reach the requirements of the performance criteria for handlers, they will be issued with a show cause notice. Gary Ng Ting-keung is also in the hot seat, having to provide a written explanation for his stable’s performance should he not reach the required 15 winners.