By Hans Ebert

Yes, it’s good to have old “Haysey” back in Hong Kong. It almost wants to make one burst into a chorus of “Get Back”- “get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged”.

Though great to see David Hayes train a double on his first day back on the job in Hong Kong, what shouldn’t go awol amidst all the congratulations is who rode Moneymore, his first runner since being back- and also his first winner: Keith Yeung.

It says something about the man and his judgement to entrust this important runner for the stable to the pretty much forgotten Keith Yeung.

The local rider is not exactly top of the banana tree when it comes to attracting winning rides, especially from leading trainers.

Let’s not forget the absolute joy last season when, after a very lean spell, he won a race for Caspar Fownes- the Group 3 Premier Plate aboard Dances With Dragon.

It had been tough going for the likeable rider and Champion Apprentice during the 2009/10.

For various reasons, mainly injuries, Keith Yeung had become something of a Yesterday’s Man. He didn’t make any bones about the fact that he was doing everything possible to remain positive.

Then came that offer from Cas and the owners for him to ride Dances With Dragon. He did. And he won on the galloper. It was a tremendously important morale boosting win. It was more than this being the rider’s first Group win. It was the trust placed on him despite a lack of winning rides.

That moment when he thanked the trainer for having the trust in him to deliver the goods was, personally, one of the real highlights of last season.

At Shatin this afternoon, it was great seeing Moneymore salute and with Keith Yeung aboard the David Hayes runner.

How and why did he get the ride? Apparently, Keith, who was an apprentice when the popular Australian trainer was first here, had trialled and done all the lead up work on the horse. This was good enough reason for him to keep the ride on race day.

For David Hayes, of course, this was the perfect Welcome Back gift. But let’s not forget what it must have meant- and must still mean- to Keith Yeung when looking at the season ahead of him.

We all need motivation. We all need support. Especially in the competitive mine field that is Hong Kong racing.

It’s been a great start for the Hong Kong born rider. Long may it continue.

#KeithYeung #davidhayes #moneymaker #hkracing #casparfownes #danceswithdragon