Matthew Chadwick will miss Wednesday night’s Happy Valley meeting after coming down during the opening race at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The 30-year-old was dislodged from Lucky Fun in the opening race when Danny Shum Chap-shing’s first starter clipped heels halfway through the race.
Chadwick was able to sit up immediately after the fall but grabbed his head and was taken to hospital as a precaution.
The CT scans came back clear but he will remain there overnight for observation.
The loss of Chadwick really stretched the riding ranks after Dylan Mo Hin-tung and Jack Wong Ho-nam were stood down before the meeting started after they notified stewards someone in their building had tested positive to Covid-19.
With Vincent Ho Chak-yiu and Karis Teetan suspended and Matthew Poon Ming-fai injured, it left just 15 jockeys available for the meeting.
That meant things were very tight given most races had 14-horse fields and officials were lucky most of Chadwick’s rides carried heavier weights, making it easier to find replacements.
Adding insult to injury, one of Chadwick’s rides – the John Size-trained Super Alliances – won the third event.
Callan cops HK$25,000 fine
Neil Callan’s wallet is HK$25,000 lighter after he was fined for directing offensive language towards Vagner Borges in the jockeys’ room.
The Irishman abused the Brazilian after the ninth race and there were multiple witnesses, including a steward and other jockeys.
Callan, who pleaded guilty to the misconduct charge, finished 11th on Perfect To Great while Borges came third on Romantic Combo.
Blake Shinn was the only jockey suspended on the day, hit with a two-meeting ban for careless riding aboard Gunnar in the fourth race. He will miss the big meetings on December 9 and 13.
Chau and Lor double up
In-form apprentice Jerry Chau Chun-lok collected another double after guiding Adonis and Kasi Farasi to victory.
The 20-year-old kicked things off with Adonis for his boss Douglas Whyte in the Class Five Chevalier Car Dealership Handicap (1,400m) before following up with Dennis Yip Chor-hong’s Kasi Farasi in the Class Four Chevalier Healthcare Investment Handicap (1,400m).
The 20-year-old now has 19 winners for the season, placing him fifth in the championship.
Trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen also kept his good form ticking over as All For St Paul’s and the appropriately named Chevalier Prince saluted.
Even though the day was sponsored by Chevalier, the latter’s name had no connection and was only a happy coincidence.
Lor now sits second in the race to the title with 20 winners for the campaign.
Almond Eye bows out on a high
There had been talk about Japanese superstar Almond Eye finishing her career in Hong Kong but connections clearly pulled the right rein by staying at home.
The champion mare bowed out in style, defeating boom three-year-olds Contrail and Daring Tact to claim her ninth Group One victory in the Japan Cup.
“Since this was her final start, it was very special for me and I’m thrilled we were able to win,” jockey Christophe Lemaire said.
What a moment! Almond Eye ends her remarkable career with a win in the Japan Cup! pic.twitter.com/Hym0MM8ilf— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) November 29, 2020
“The pace was just right for her and she responded well in the stretch. The others closing in on us didn’t worry me at all. Almond Eye is a perfect mare and doesn’t have any weak points. Her career as a racehorse ended today but I look forward to riding her children.”