Trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai has returned to one of the world’s great big-race jockeys, Gerald Mosse, to partner Blizzard in the Group One Sprinters Stakes in Tokyo next month after being left without a Hong Kong-based rider.
Zac Purton rode Blizzard when he ran a great race first-up, finishing second in the Chief Executive’s Cup on opening day under a handicap of 133 pounds but, like the rest of the top jockeys here, Purton wants to be riding at Sha Tin on October 1, not in Japan.
On the same day as the Sprinters Stakes, many of Hong Kong’s best gallopers will make their seasonal resumption in the Celebration Cup and National Day Cup, and all the jockeys are mindful of not losing their seat on major horses heading towards the internationals in December.
Mosse is currently riding in Europe and last weekend won the rich Bosphorus Cup in Istanbul for Godolphin on Secret Number.
“Gerald has ridden the horse before, he has won on him and he is available – and of course, he is a big-race jockey,” Yiu said on Monday night.
Mosse won on Blizzard in Class Three when the gelding was a three-year-old but he also partnered him in the four-year-old series last year, where he performed well in unsuitable longer races.
As far as big races go, Yiu and Mosse have a negligible history, with the exception of the French jockey’s time as the regular partner of champion sprinter Sacred Kingdom, on whom he won four Group races including the 2007 Hong Kong Sprint and the 2008 Chairman’s Sprint Prize.