• Most notable mover on Thoroughbred Racing Commentary’s Global Rankings
+5 Vincent Ho
Much of the post-race coverage on Sunday’s FWD Champions Mile at Sha Tin focussed on the identity of the runner-up – hardly surprising, perhaps, in that it was former world champion miler Beauty Generation who was touched off by Southern Legend.
However, if a valorous defeat after a fierce final-furlong battle for the G1 prize provided further evidence of the seven-year-old’s general decline, the result was notable for another reason as it provided a career landmark for winning jockey Vincent Ho.
One of the success stories of the Hong Kong season, Ho has been earning headlines for his association with HK Derby winner Golden Sixty, aboard whom he became the first homegrown jockey to win the region’s foremost ‘4YO Classic’ for 25 years since Tony Cruz in 1995 on Makarpura Star.
As prestigious as that was, the HK Derby is a restricted race and therefore lacks international G1 status – but Ho duly opened his account at those giddy heights with Sunday’s victory on Southern Legend, previously a dual winner of the Kranji Mile.
After several near-misses in recent weeks, with another 5pt boost (#48 from #54) it is right and proper that Ho finally earns the mantle of star of the week as he breaks into the world’s Top 50 according to Thoroughbred Racing Commentary’s exclusive global rankings.
Ho’s Hong Kong-based colleague Zac Purton moved into the Top 5 at the weekend when he completed a full house of HK G1s with Exultant in the QEII Cup.
A 2pt boost was enough to move the three-time HK champion up to #4 from #6 with a 1,047pts, which means Purton is easily the highest-ranked jockey from the region ahead of his title rival Joao Moreira, who languishes in 19th spot. World leader among jockeys remains the currently inactive Frankie Dettori on 1,079 pts.
Karis Teetan, the HK-based Mauritian, was another notable mover (+5pts, #93 from #112) thanks to the victory of veteran Mr Stunning in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize on the FWD Champions Day card at Sha Tin. The seven-year-old, a three-time winner at the top level, has since been retired.
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