Vincent Ho Chak-yiu rocketed to the top of the jockeys’ championship with a double at Sha Tin on Sunday but the 28-year-old is adamant he won’t be checking the rankings any time soon.
Ho booted home Happy Sound and Go Public to remain the only jockey to ride a winner at all three meetings so far this season and his four victories put him above star riders Zac Purton and Karis Teetan on the table.
“I never check the ranking, I just check my horses and check how they run and if they run well I’m happy,” Ho said. “I don’t care if they win or not as long as I do my best and they perform well and are healthy.”
Happy Sound takes the first at Sha Tin and gives Vincent Ho his third win of the season. The former champion apprentice has made a bright start off the back of his summer experience in Europe. #HKRacing pic.twitter.com/zTffk0qxd6— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) September 9, 2018
Despite the added opportunities in the wake of Joao Moreira’s departure, Ho admits it will be difficult to stay ahead of his more-fancied rivals but he hopes to feed off the confidence that has come with his consistent start.
“It keeps the confidence up, but even last season I had probably a month without a winner but as a jockey we always need to be confident on a horse – we need to have faith in a race, ourselves and the horses,” said Ho, who rode his first winner in the United Kingdom last month.
“Everyone in Hong Kong is so competitive. I never stop improving, I go overseas to learn every summer and it makes me better each year, but it’s still difficult to get support for good rides.
“Francis [Lui Kin-wai] has always supported me and my [former] boss [Caspar Fownes], Tony [Cruz] sometimes, Manfred Man [Ka-leung], David Hall, Me Tsui [Yu-sak] all support locals.”
Ho kicked off the day in style, with the Fownes-trained Happy Sound finding the lead early in Class Five Zhaoqing Handicap (1,000m) and never looking back after returning from Conghua last week.
“The horse is fresh and he’s feeling well after coming back from Conghua,” Ho said. “We drew gate one which was not ideal but early in the season he is fit enough.
Go Public nicks the ninth! Vincent Ho finds himself at the top of the jockeys' premiership with four wins after that. And it's a double for Fight Hero's trainer Me Tsui. #HKRacing pic.twitter.com/LoCIFgNSWZ— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) September 9, 2018
“I think Conghua is good because horses work quieter there and horses need the space. The travel is not a problem because it is only three hours. Compared to Europe, Australia or anywhere in the world, it is nothing.”
Go Public, the second of a double for Tsui, was last with 600m to run before Ho started working his way up the rail, pulling the gelding out at the 300m and swamping Encore Boy late.
“He is a strong boy and he obviously handled the track very well,” Ho said. “I was lucky enough that the pace was on and we got a wide gate, I was supposed to try and run close to the leader but I knew they were going to go hard so I was better off staying at the back and enjoying the run.”