Douglas Whyte did just about everything there is to do as a jockey in Hong Kong but he could never win the Hong Kong Sprint.

He has a chance to rectify that on Sunday with Stronger, who is the 49-year-old’s first runner in the Hong Kong International Races as a trainer and just his second Group One starter.

After 13 rides in the Sprint without a victory, Whyte knows exactly how hard the race is to win but he was nothing but positive about the prospects of the four-year-old colt, who only earned his spot in the race after the scratching of Inferno on Tuesday.

“It’s very exciting. It’s a pity he didn’t get in straight away, I had to wait for the last minute. Having said that, he’s in good enough order,” said Whyte, who won the Mile on Glorious Days and the Cup aboard Akeed Mofeed in 2013, as well as the Vase with Indigenous in 1998.

With Christophe Soumillon sidelined, Zac Purton lands the ride he thought he already had

“The writing was on the wall last time [in the Group Two Jockey Club Sprint], I think he ran with a lot of purpose and the horse has come out of that race in good form.

“This is the only one that I didn’t win as a jockey so it will be nice to win a Sprint as a trainer. I’m hoping to complete the set.”

Stronger finished one and a half lengths behind victor Hot King Prawn in the Jockey Club Sprint last month and Whyte is confident the former John Moore-trained galloper has room to improve.

“He was a length and a half off and I don’t think he had a real crack at them, he was held-up in the straight,” Whyte said of Stronger, who bled after a barrier trial in July.

“He’s been going around as a three-year-old and doing things the hard way, carrying lumps of weight. He had quite a busy campaign last season and he’s had a few health issues, which we seem to be managing.

“He’s a horse with a lot of upside to him, he’s really starting to furnish and he’s shown me in the short time that I’ve had him how he has developed both mentally and physically.”

Pierre-Charles Boudot has been locked in to ride Stronger, who jumps from gate four in a race where grey duo Classique Legend and Hot King Prawn are the leading hopes.

Stronger wins over 1,000m at Sha Tin on November 1.

Whyte’s not the only trainer ringing up a first at Sha Tin on Sunday, with Jimmy Ting Koon-ho sending around his first Group One runner in the form of Amazing Star – another galloper promoted to the Sprint after Perfect Match broke down on Monday.

“The first Group One runner is special, it’s a dream come true and I’m happy that he could get in,” Ting said.

HKIR: Watch the last start of every Hong Kong Sprint runner, including Classique Legend and Tower Of London

“He’ll run well and having drawn gate two, it should be easier for him to get a good position and I think he will run very close.”

With Inferno’s scratching due to lameness, Ting was able to snap up the services of reigning Hong Kong champion jockey Zac Purton, who has been in the saddle for five of the gelding’s six career wins.

“I was lucky that Zac’s horse was withdrawn so I could get him to ride him. He has ridden this horse for five winners already so I think he is the best jockey for this horse,” Ting said.