Some are waiting to see when the levee breaks and his winning streak might peter out, but it’s obvious that apprentice Jerry Chau has other things on his mind.

He’s not only out to prove the doubters wrong, especially those who didn’t think he was ready for Hong Kong when he got that surprise call up to replace fellow apprentice Gary Lo, but now that opportunity has knocked, it’s about making the most of this. Making the most of what’s come his way by grabbing everything that’s coming his way with both hands.

It’s like his ride in the first race at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, and when Jerry Chau rode his fiftieth winner in his short career to date in Hong Kong.

Sure, riding fifty winners is impressive, but his ride on winner Valiant Elegance was something a little special.

Of course, Trainer Douglas Whyte had done a great job to get the horse ready for this race, but there was a maturity and confidence in how Chau bounced his galloper from barrier twelve, took him to the front, onto the rails and gave nothing else a chance. It was a class ride.

Often when these home-grown young riders who are sent to one of the top stables in Queensland to gain more experience before returning to Hong Kong, there’s that excitement and, perhaps nervous energy, to quickly prove themselves. And so, they take their horses to the front, and urge overkill takes over to lead at all costs.

Nothing really wrong with this and many with ten and seven pound weight allowances have won races by doing exactly this- playing a game of Catch Me If You Can. Often, however, their performances look a tad desperate. Not so Jerry Chau. There was none of that on Valiant Elegance. It was a calm, cool and collected ride.

Of course being indentured to the Douglas Whyte stable has not gone unnoticed. It’s a great school for advanced learning under the tutelage of the legendary champion Hong Kong Jockey for a record thirteen consecutive years plus also having Felix Coetzee in your corner who mentors the local apprentices.

Not to say he now knows everything, but Chau shows all the talent Matthew Chadwick did when returning to Hong Hong as a ten pound claiming apprentice and fortunate to be riding for another legend and tough task master in Tony Cruz.

This combination clicked and the partnership looked set for the long run until things got derailed for one reason or another.

Looking at Hong Kong racing in 2021 and taking place against the backdrop of a once vibrant city looking for its new mojo in a world that’s changed forever, at least for this writer, the racing product should work on many levels.

There’s the quartet of Joao Moreira, Zac Purton, Vincent Ho, and though some may disagree, Karis Teetan. The Mauritian Magician might not be the prettiest jockey to watch, but his results speak for themselves. He’s a trier and everyone loves a trier. Karis really doesn’t know when not to stop trying.

These top riders seem to enjoy first dibs on the best rides and winning chances. They seem to though these days, especially at the idiosyncratic city track, there’s more of a level playing field. The racing is serious fun.

Jerry Chau, Matthew Poon, Alexis Badel and Antoine Hamelin appear to have more opportunities to build up support systems here and which might serve them well when racing at Shatin.

On Wednesday night, both Badel and “The Poon Train” rode very good doubles. So did the Zac Attack, but one expects this. And here lies the challenge.

The term “racing product” comprises different components and various ingredients and intangibles.

The average racing fan is drawn to the excitement and level of competition and anything and everything NEW that keeps things fresh. Call it The Vibe and those good, good, good vibrations.

Gawd knows, we all need these instead of walking on eggshells and under a blanket of constant unvaccinated uncertainty and fear.

In Hong Kong racing there was that amazing feeling of lightness and pride when the Brazilian Magic Man arrived in Hong Kong and turned racing in this city on its head. We had never seen a rider like him- a fabulous combination of talent and charisma.

Some of us remember the great rivalry between Douglas Whyte and Brett Prebble, especially during the 2010 season.

Today, we’re seeing the competition between the Zac Attack and the Magic Man, the party crasher that is the Mauritian Magician and the Silent Striker that is Vincent Ho.

We’re also seeing Alexis Badel coming into his own. There’s then Jerry Chau and Matthew Poon. Who knows how far this rivalry might travel? And this is where the marketing of the “Hong Kong racing product” comes into play.

Right now, we can’t see how the best from elsewhere will fare against the best from Hong Kong and vice versa. We’re still in another bubble just bobbing along. It’s boring as hell.

Personally, I would love to see Jamie Kah and James McDonald ride against Joao Moreira or Zac Purton. Or Will Price and Laura Lafferty ride against Jerry Chau and the Poon Train.

These dreams have to be put on hold for perhaps longer than we think.

This means focusing on the here and now and looking beyond the Jockey Challenge.

That’s all very nice and I am sure very popular. It’s also been going on for quite a while.

Every racing product anywhere in the world needs a Refresher Course as the wants and needs of the consumer are constantly changing. And change is good in every which way.

If there’s now the Zac Attack Burger, why not?

If there’s a new song about Joao Moreira, bring it on.

If there are competitions featuring jockeys and with prizes to be won, this is about interactivity and creating marketing opportunities worth exploring.

It’s also about knowing which carrots to dangle- and how and where to make the most of everything already here.

Then comes truly knowing the medium of the message, what the message is and the most effective medium to make this clear, especially in the clutter of the online world where everyone is looking for attention.

And here, no matter what the product, those good vibes always work.

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