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While a number of names are being bandied about as full-timers in Hong Kong for next season’s riding ranks, a small, but vocal choir of respected racing men, are calling out for New Zealand’s premiership leading rider Danielle Johnson- a strong, determined and extremely good young jockey, who happens to be female but can match it with any male rider around today.

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But is Hong Kong gun-shy about introducing a female jockey into its ranks?

The pro-Danielle Johnson camp believe times change and this talented hoop- her father is former jockey Peter Johnson who some might remember from his time in Macau, and her partner is top New Zealand jockey Opie Bossum- will be a big attraction.

With the growing interest and power wielded in Hong Kong racing by female owners, we don’t see why not.

The story of female jockeys in Hong Kong, and when their time came to a close is an interesting one- even movie material.

Though Sherie Kong, below, who married fellow jockey Eric Legrix and became Sherie Legrix was Hong Kong’s first professional female jockey whose first ride was in 1993, the story of another Hong Kong-born female jockey- Willy Kan Wah-Yiu- is one that’s rarely talked about.

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A promising apprentice nicknamed “Little Sister”, Willy Kan was indentured to Brian Kan and won her first race for the trainer in 1998 aboard Sir Galway.

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She also won the Queen Mother’s Cup on the Kan-trained Fat Choy Together and was the first and only female to ride in the Hong Kong Derby when legendary trainer Ivan Allan legged her aboard Man Of Honour.

Willy Kan tragically lost her life in a race fall on a rainy day at a Shatin Meeting in March, 1999 when her mount Happy King clipped heels with another runner which caused her fatal fall, and brought to an end female jockeys riding in Hong Kong.

That’s the past, the future is Now and Danielle Johnson is all about the Now.

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