Jockey Alfred Chan Ka-hei knows he will have to work even harder to get rides after losing his seven-pound claim at Sha Tin on Monday but the 27-year-old has three decent chances of adding to his win tally come Wednesday night’s all-dirt meeting.
Chan booted the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained Kasi Farasi to victory at the public-holiday meeting and in the process notched his 45th Hong Kong winner, with his claim dropping from seven pounds to five as a result.
“It’s good but it means it will probably be harder to get rides because I’m not claiming as much now,” said Chan, who opted to conclude his apprenticeship at the end of last season and become a freelance rider.
“I will keep working hard, I’m riding six days a week for Caspar Fownes and Dennis Yip and I still believe if you are working hard, one day it will pay off. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.”
Chan’s victory aboard Kasi Farasi moved him to seven winners after 31 meetings of the 2021-22 campaign – the same tally he could manage for the entirety of last term.
Chan moved from Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s stable to Fownes in January this year in a bid to revive his ailing career and the move certainly improved his fortunes, with six of the jockey’s seven winners last term coming after the shift.
It is Fownes and Yip who give Chan the vast majority of his support, with 32 of his 97 rides this season coming for Yip for a return of four winners, while he has two victories from 30 attempts for Fownes.
“Clearly this season is going a lot better than last season and I’m still very grateful that Mr Fownes and Mr Yip give me the opportunities. I mainly ride winners for them so hopefully I can keep those connections and keep riding winners,” he said.
Chan combines with Yip again at the midweek meeting, climbing aboard Solar Power in the Class Four Shing Mun River Channel Handicap (1,650m).
Chan piloted the five-year-old to an all-the-way victory at the course and distance last month and hopes he can repeat the dose from gate three on Wednesday night.
“I hope Solar Power can win again. I have been working him and he had a trial at Happy Valley and he feels better than when I won on him last time,” said Chan, who also pilots Shanghai Power for Me Tsui Yu-sak and Francis Lui Kin-wai’s Super Fast.
“The draws are not too bad across the board, in the first race although Shanghai Power has drawn a bit wide [in gate nine] I still believe he has some good speed to come across.
“The other two have got good draws – Super Fast [two] and Solar Power – and hopefully we can jump cleanly, go straight to the lead and get the result.”
Chan will be hoping to make the most of his final rides before a two-meeting suspension that commences on New Year’s Day, while he received another careless riding suspension for his effort aboard Sparkling Dolphin on Monday and will miss a further two meetings in late-January.