Victor Wong Chun admits he burst into tears after crossing the finishing line a winner for the first time in 308 days at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Two weeks after returning from chest, back and head injuries sustained in a nasty trackwork accident in May last year, Wong made an emotional return to the winner’s circle after saluting aboard Smiling Success.

“That moment has really touched my heart. I could not stop crying after I passed the winning post,” said Wong, who conceded ahead of his return that he had questioned whether he would live a normal life again, let alone return to riding.

In his 14th ride since making it back to the races, Wong led all the way aboard $7.45 chance Smiling Success in the Class Five Yi O Handicap (1,400m) to live out a dream over nine months in the making.

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“I have been dreaming of winning again for a long time and today I did it,” he said. “I’ve worked hard for over six months to recover and get back on a horse. Once I got back on a horse I then thought ‘maybe I can ride in a race again’.”

Wong delivered a well-rated ride aboard Smiling Success and he is confident he can return to the level that saw him ride 38 winners before his 2018-19 campaign was cut short.

Trainer Jimmy Ting and jockey Victor Wong celebrate their victory.

“I didn’t have to think about it too much, I just focused on the horse and the feeling, and the horse carried me to the winning post,” he said.

Trainer Jimmy Ting Koon-ho was thrilled with Wong’s effort, revealing he engaged the five-pound claimer to ride Smiling Success even before he had officially returned from injury.

“Last time the jockey [Alfred Chan Ka-hei] did not ride him that well. I asked him before the straight to let him go, because if he can lead by a couple of lengths then he has a chance to win, but he didn’t do that and he lost a length,” Ting said of his four-year-old’s last start, where he finished fifth in his first appearance in Class Five. “This time I gave the same order – let him go and he can win.

“I asked Victor to ride this horse three or four weeks ago, after that last race I went straight to him to tell him to ride it next time.

Victor Wong crosses the line to win aboard Smiling Success.

“Because the horse had dropped in class it had a heavy weight, so he needed an apprentice to carry that big weight because he is a front-runner only and needs the claim.

“It’s good to have Victor back, Hong Kong needs more apprentice jockeys.”

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Smiling Success finished a length and a quarter ahead of Ricky Yiu Poon-fai’s Winwin Thirtythree, with the David Hall-trained Big Bully another two-and-a-half lengths away in third.

It was Smiling Success’ first win at start nine and will see the son of Hinchinbrook – who entered the race on a rating of 37 – find himself back in Class Four, where he failed to finish better than 10th in five attempts this season.