DOUGLAS Whyte became the fourth rider to land the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys’ Championship for a second time on a night when he also drew level with Tony Cruz as the rider to score the most wins in Hong Kong.
<div>Victory aboard Champion Lad in the first of the three legs at Happy Valley took Whyte to within one winner of equalling Cruz’s record and a comfortable success on Man in the Mirror later at that meeting saw him draw level on the 945-winner mark.</div>
<div>Whyte bided his time on John Moore-trained Champion Lad, picking off his rivals one by one in the home345 straight before getting up in the final strides to deny Andreas Starke and Joyful World. His historic win on Man in the Mirror was registered in totally different fashion with the “Durban Demon’’ kicking for home345 as early as halfway down the back straight.</div>
<div>Whyte, who first arrived in Hong Kong in September 1996 said: “I certainly never thought about Tony’s total, never had any idea what it was. I just knew what a great rider Tony had been.’’</div>
<div>Christophe Soumillon, who shared the title in 2004 with Yutaka Taka, finished second in this year’s competition after taking advantage of his rival’s generosity when a gap appeared on the rails late on in the second leg over 1800m.</div>
<div>Soumillon had to sit patiently racing down the home345 straight as those in front of him looked to be going nowhere, but when the chance arose he needed no second offer and eased through to notch a cheeky victory on David Ferraris-trained Super Surprise. Soumillon’s win came at the expense of Emma Jayne Wilson, the first female rider to take part in the competition in its 10-year history. She had to settle for second spot on Vincere.</div>
<div>Damien Oliver, who was unshipped from Classa Win when the nine-year-old slipped straightening up for home345 in Leg 1, finished the event of a brighter note when he capitalised on the suicidal early pace set by Equator Kid to score comfortably on the Dennis Yip-trained Dr Possi. – Racing Post.</div>