by Hans Ebert

One can’t help wondering if Trainer Douglas Whyte might have been somewhat miffed on Wednesday night at Happy Valley Racecourse.

Why? Well, there was that seminal moment in the career of Jerry Chau when the apprentice indentured to him rode favourite Transcendent to victory and gave him his seventieth career winner. This win was needed for him to graduate to the senior riding ranks. But going against the expected script, this winner was trained by Tony Cruz.

Everything pointed to Douglas Whyte being front and centre in this pivotal kambaya graduation moment.

After all, he had pretty much become Yoda, and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to the apprentice. And now on this special day for his apprentice, he was almost relegated to being a bit player.

This moment in time on Jerry’s graduation day was expected to happen for the past several weeks- and on a horse trained by his master.
But try as he did, Jerry just kept running places.

He was stuck on 69, which is not that bad a number depending on time and place.

We’re glad that number 70 finally came up as the waiting had become somewhat tedious and was messing with our betting strategies- and possibly even making his family antsy who came to the races every race day for a couple of weeks hoping for their son’s Graduation Day.

As for the graduation of Jerry Chau, it was a bit of an anticlimax. Maybe it needed some funky red caps given out to the racing uncles on course?

Still, the Club must have breathed a sigh of relief to finally wheel out the presentation table that had been kept on ice for several weeks and welcome Jerry Chau to the next chapter of his career.

Frankly, after the horrific fall of Karis Teetan earlier in the night and seeing his mount having to be put down, it wasn’t exactly the happiest night of Happy Valley racing.

Still, as they say, that’s racing, the show must go on and congratulations to the now former boom apprentice.

The rise to the top of Jerry Chau has been as quick and lethal as the days when Matthew Chadwick returned to Hong Kong and was indentured to former champion Hong Kong jockey and living legend Tony Cruz.

In one of those karmic moments, it was a Chau-Chadwick quinella on Wednesday with Transcendent beating Winning Method and paying out a lucky $88 quinella.

Wednesday night was long gone, and by Friday, talking to the English racing media about that seventieth winner and Jerry Chau was, yes, Douglas Whyte.

All that old stuff was regurgitated. There were some not unexpected new bits and how this successful team would be sticking together.

There were also a few gems between the lines about Jerry Chau looking at his future and investing in property.

Maybe Alberto Sanna has a castle in Sardinia going for a steal? Remember Alberto Sanna? We thought we did until his sudden disappearing act from Hong Kong.

As has been proven time and time again, Chinese family ties and the company they keep always play a major role in the future of young riders who usually come from relatively poor families.

There’s no doubt that Jerry Chau will succeed as a senior rider and be one of Hong Kong’s top five riders.

He’s now his own man. He’s in demand. And he has his family to think about and as an emotional support system.

How he accepts everything new that’s going to come his way with a bigger price tag attached is going to be key.

Let’s never forget that this is Hong Kong where money talks all kinds of languages and where Jerry Chau is a Made In Hong Kong product and the Number One son.

There’s much riding on his young shoulders. This is where the experience and wisdom of Douglas Whyte along with giving his former apprentice the direction he will need will be most needed.

#JerryChau #DouglasWhyte #HKracing