Hong Kong jockey Vincent Ho Chak-yiu has added to his successful career in the city with his first win in the United Kingdom on Thursday.
The 28-year-old debuted at Haydock Park to ride X-Rated to victory in the 2.10 Smarkets Betting Exchange Handicap, a Class Five race with six runners.
The four-year-old held on to the lead over the final furlong after taking a while to get going as $6 X-Rated beat out $2.75 favourite Maroc ridden by Richard Kingscote.
Ho’s UK-trained Irish horse finished in a little over two minutes.
The former champion apprentice hit the 200-win mark in Hong Kong in February this year, and he now has a win in the UK under his belt.
After winning by half a length Ho told Racing UK: “I just followed the pace around and he enjoyed free running and he just kept going. He was very strong."
Ho has a 10-day race window after finally overcoming delays to his visa clearance, according to the Racing Post, and raced in the UK after France and Hungary.
The experience was “quite different” to Hong Kong, he said in his post-race Racing UK interview.
“You just need to be more patient. The jockeys here are very strong, very competitive and that is why I came to learn.
“The pacing is nice, too. It was faster than I expected because when I rode in France it was very slow.
“I tried to wait as long as I could and he just kept fighting.”
The win takes trainer Mark Johnston to within eight of Richard Hannon Snr’s UK-trained winner record of 4,194.
Ho will look to make it two from two in the UK at Redcar on Saturday and add another win for Johnston on Prestbury Park.
The same day Hong Kong favourite Joao Moreira, who left for Japan at the end of the season, will compete for the Rest of the World in the Shergar Cup at Ascot.
Videos courtesy of Racing UK