Luke Currie is probably the only jockey in Hong Kong who doesn’t want the season to end.
With two winners at the past three meetings and his rides increasing in quality and quantity, the off-season comes at the wrong time for a man who has battled his way back from injury while being away from his family and living in a city in lockdown.
The Australian was warned before he arrived in January that things would be difficult and those doom-mongers were initially proved right but Currie can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
“I suppose starting so close to the end of the season, I wouldn’t have been surprised if I didn’t get going at all,” Currie said.
“I was told before I came here that the last few months of the season can be difficult as most of the rides are taken and a lot of the horses have had long seasons.
“Although it is disappointing that I haven’t got more time to build off the work I’ve done, I’m hoping that might come next season after the break.
“It’s just one of those things with the start I had and the time off, but we can’t look at the past, we have to focus on the future.”
While trainer Paul O’Sullivan and jockey Blake Shinn – and possibly others – are preparing to depart Hong Kong, Currie is looking to build a future for both himself and his family in Hong Kong.
Double delight justifies Currie’s decision to ignore calls for him to leave HK
“I’ve still got to get my family back out here next season. I think the work I’ve put in and the sacrifices I’ve already made, it hasn’t been easy coming on my own and then having a fall and staying through Covid,” he said.
“But I appreciate the opportunity given to me by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and I don’t want to put in all the hard work and then go without really giving it a proper go.
“I look forward to coming back next season and then building off that and staying longer.”
Currie is probably in his best run of form since making the move from Australia and will hope to keep the momentum up this weekend.
“I’ve had a little bit of luck recently, which is good, and hopefully I can continue and get a couple more winners before the end of the season,” Currie said.
“I’m starting to get a few more rides but I’m probably just starting to improve the class of rides I’m getting. There’s still a long way to go but I’m definitely going in the right direction.”
John Size is one of the reasons Currie’s rides are getting stronger, with the 11-time champion trainer providing the jockey with eight mounts at the past five meetings, and the duo team up a couple of times at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Currie saluted aboard Touch Faith a couple of starts back and is confident that his mount is capable of winning the Class Four Racing Talent Training Centre Handicap (1,200m) on the all-weather track.
“He got interfered with mid-race last time and that probably put him about two lengths further back than what I’d hoped,” Currie said.
“It probably made the difference and he would have finished a bit closer. That’s about his mark, with the right run there is a race in this class in him.”
There's a second win for @zpurton! ✌️ The Australian grabs a race-to-race double as Leading Fortune downs Beauty Live. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/5XpcWuaeuk— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) March 6, 2022
Leading Fortune will attempt to put a rare disappointing run behind him in the Class Three Huangcun Sports Training Centre Handicap (1,600m).
“He won three in a row earlier this season and apart from his last run he’s been thereabouts, so I’m happy to be on him this weekend,” Currie said.
Champion trainer Caspar Fownes provides Currie with two rides but the draw has not been kind to Telecom Missile in the Class Five Racing Development Board Handicap (1,200m) on the all-weather track.
“I’ve been drawn right out [in gate 12] on Telecom Missile so it will be interesting to see what we do there but it seems like we’ll probably have to go back and see if the track plays even enough for those horses trying to make ground,” the jockey said.