Well-liked jockey Umberto Rispoli will leave Hong Kong after this week.

The Italian has opted to end his season-long licence with the Hong Kong Jockey Club early to take up an opportunity to ride overseas

His last day riding in Hong Kong will be Sunday’s Sha Tin meeting. He has three rides on Wednesday night at Happy Valley.

In total, the 31-year-old has ridden 122 winners in Hong Kong, including 25 last season.

Rispoli won the Group One QE II Cup (2,000m) in 2012 on the Japanese-trained Rulership, marking his greatest success in Hong Kong.

Umberto Rispoli celebrates the win of Sky Darci with trainer Caspar Fownes at Sha Tin this season.

Previously coming to Hong Kong on short-term deals, Rispoli joined the Hong Kong ranks permanently in 2016 before breaking his leg just three meetings in.

Incredibly, he was back in the saddle in two-and-a-half months and finished the season with 15 winners.

HKIR domination caps off incredible year for Japanese racing

His unexpected departure, along with that of South African Aldo Domeyer earlier this season, leaves a massive hole in the jockeys’ roster.

Rispoli has had five winners this season from 100 rides, including 14 placings.