While fellow newcomer Jamie Richards won’t have his first Hong Kong runner until next week, Pierre Ng Pang-chi is throwing just about everything at Sunday’s season opener as he looks to begin his training career with a bang.
As Richards takes the slow-and-steady approach, Ng is out to make an immediate impact and will send around eight runners at Sha Tin this weekend, including Lucky Patch and Duke Wai in the Class One HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup (1,200m).
“I feel a bit nervous and the time has gone very quickly in the past two months. I’ve just tried to get the horses ready and hopefully we get some joy out of Sunday,” Ng said.
“It’s kind of been rushed but I’m happy that everything has come together well. It’s still all like a dream.”
Ng is the first local trainer to be added to the ranks since Jimmy Ting Koon-ho began his career with a winner with his very first runner in 2018, something Frankie Lor Fu-chuen also achieved 12 months earlier.
“I have just tried to prepare the horses well for the first day. If I can get a winner I will be very happy,” said Ng, who is the son of former Hong Kong trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen.
“I’m just looking forward to this Sunday and to be in the same rank as people you have known since you were a child is a funny feeling, it’s amazing.”
Ng begins the season with an impressive 52 horses in his stable, with his time as an assistant trainer for Paul O’Sullivan, John Size and Francis Lui Kin-wai ensuring he has no shortage of contacts.
“I’m lucky that I’ve known some of the owners for a long time and that they have come over to support me,” he said.
“It was quite amazing, after I got the licence so many new owners called up and wanted to get a horse and I’m looking forward to training for them.”
Ng’s first runner as a trainer could well have been overseas, but Duke Wai failed to make the field for Group Three Korea Sprint (1,200m) at the weekend, something the 39-year-old believes will prove a blessing in disguise.
“It would have been fun, but I would have had to rush Duke Wai for that race and now I’ve got another week to prepare him, which I think is better for him,” he said.
Jockey Club Sprint (G2)— 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙𝙍𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜 (@WorldRacing1) November 21, 2021
1200m , 4.750.000 HKD, for 4yo+
Lucky Patch (NZ)
(5G El Roca - Gould, by Danehill Dancer)
J : C. L. Chau
T : K.-W. Lui
O : Patch Syndicate
B : G Harvey
🥈Naboo Attack (AUS)
🥉Sky Field (AUS) pic.twitter.com/xqhP7uSmxr
While Glorious Dragon is the highest-rated galloper in Ng’s stable at 118, it is Lucky Patch he hopes will give him an immediate presence on the big stage.
A two-time Group Two winner for Lui, Lucky Patch spent an extended stint on the sidelines after falling as favourite in last year’s Hong Kong Sprint but Ng hopes Sunday’s feature can be the first step on the way to a return to international day.
“It’s a dream to start off with these sort of horses. The better sprinters in Hong Kong often start at this meeting so I’m just going through the motions and hopefully he can build his form,” the trainer said.
Ng also saddles up Captain Win, Stunning Impact, Infinite Power, Science Patch, United We Stand and Medic Elite at the season opener.