By Hans Ebert

It might not have been a race where one expected to see The Clash Of The Titans- it was a Class 5 race with riders competing being Joao Moreira, Zac Purton, Karis Teetan, and Silvestre de Sousa- but once Vincent Ho saw what was going on in front of him- nothing much really- he decided to change the “choreography” with a move that caught everyone napping. That winning move was another reminder of just how much this homegrown talent has improved.

The emergence of Vincent Ho as a jockey and able to mix it with the best in the world has been a work in progress for a while, but which has reached new heights this season.

Perhaps it was his short stint riding in the UK during the last off season, perhaps it was being interviewed by Matt Chapman, perhaps the improvement was already more than evident last season. Today, however, Vincent Ho, who Hong Kong race goers were first introduced to when an inexperienced apprentice indentured to Caspar Fownes, is very close to being at the top of his game. It’s always good for there to be room for improvement- something more up his sleeve.

That winning ride during last night’s pre Lunar New Year based Happy Wednesday celebrations on the Kwan family’s Sky Gem for his old boss- Caspar Fownes- who’s always supported his former apprentice- was as good as you would see anywhere, let alone over 2200 metres at the often very tricky Happy Valley track which can become an episode of The Wacky Races in distance races.

How many times have we watched comical derring do tactics by riders thinking all it takes is to get out there and keep leading at all costs only to have their runners run out of gas and collapse in a heap?

Though some racing experts were mentioning how Sky Gem had failed when racing over this distance and that his last run with Alexis Badel was a bit of a shocker, Vincent Ho seemed to have done his homework, had contingency plans depending on how the race unfolded and made that brave decision to circle the field, get to the front and forge ahead from there at almost 10 to 1.

The Kwans, by the way, longtime supporters of Team Fownes, look to have a good newcomer in Sky Field who flashed down the outside for fifth in race 5 at his Hong Kong debut. Caspar, below, must have been happy with the run.

A couple of races later, the Sorcerer and the Apprentice, though Cas is more like Gunga Din, combined again to take out the third race of the night. It was another good ride on Shamport which brought up Ho’s thirtieth winner of the season.

They’re interesting stats when looking at what some “internationally acclaimed” riders have achieved here this season. Hype is a dangerous beast. Remember the unremarkable stint in Hong Kong of Frankel’s regular rider Tom Quealy?

By riding a number of placings, two of which came extremely close to being winners, Vincent Ho won the night’s Jockeys Challenge.

It wasn’t a great card of racing, but it was a fun Happy Wednesday, the last before the Lunar New Year break. And after everything Hong Kong has gone through and is still going through, it’s good to show some positivity and salute our young homegrown talent who are going places.

Vincent Ho might not have arrived at the top of the mountain as yer. But every step he takes to get there should inspire all the other local riders that anything is possible. But nothing’s going to happen without trying to make it happen.

#VincentHo #HKracing #HKJC #CasparFownes #HappyWednesdayHK