On the record: John Moore, Ricky Yiu, Lisa Allpress and more …

• The week’s significant milestones

Horse Racing John Moore trainer
Record breaker: John Moore, who received a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Hong Kong racing. Photo: HKJC

1,735 John Moore

Hong Kong: The end of the 2019-20 season means the region also says farewell after 49 years to the legendary John Moore, the most successful trainer in Hong Kong history.

After beginning as a jockey and then assistant trainer to his father George, during his 35-year stint as a HK trainer Moore has established HK records for career winners (1,735), prize-money (over £200m) and G1 winners (36). He has trained six HK Derby winners.

At the age of 70, the seven-time champion trainer has been forced into compulsory retirement from the Hong Kong ranks. However, he is not actually retiring, as he is to continue training in partnership with his brother Gary back in his native Australia.

Moore ended his final HK season in fourth place in the trainers’ championship with 57 winners. “I’ll miss everything about Hong Kong racing,” said Moore, whose ambition now is to win a G1 in Australia.

67 Ricky Yiu

Hong Kong: Despite a blank at the final meeting of the season at Happy Valley on Wednesday [July 15], Ricky Yiu became the first homegrown trainer to claim the Hong Kong title since Dennis Yip in 2013.

The career of Yiu, 63, dates back to 1972 when he joined the first intake at the apprentice school. He finished the season with 67 winners (including six trebles), two more than his nearest pursuer Tony Cruz, who had a double on the final card.

Zac Purton eased home to his fourth jockeys’ title with two more winners to take his total to 147, leaving him nine ahead of his arch-rival of Joao Moreira.

Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year is Exultant. Ridden by Purton and trained by Cruz, the six-year-old middle-distance star won a pair of G1 events in the QEII Cup and the Champions & Chater Cup. He is a five-time G1 winner altogether.

HK Derby winner Golden Sixty won the public vote for most popular horse.

Horse Racing Team Exultant Hong Kong Jockey Club
Horse of the year: Team Exultant, including Zac Purton (left) and Tony Cruz (second left).
Photo: HKJC

93 Lisa Allpress

New Zealand: With the season drawing to a close and only a handful of cards left, bookmakers in New Zealand are paying out on Lisa Allpress retaining her jockeys’ title. After six winners over the weekend – a double at Awapuni on Saturday [July 17] and four more at Timaru’s Phar Lap Raceway on Sunday – she has 93 winners in total and leads star apprentice Kozzi Asano by 15 with only two weeks and six cards left.

Allpress, 45, is winning the NZ jockeys’ premiership for the fourth time. With Sam Collett having won in 2017-18, she is bringing up a hat-trick of title wins for NZ females.

2,000 Kris Lees

Australia: Trainer Kris Lees recorded his 2,000th career victory when Killin made all to score on Saturday [July 18] at Randwick’s Kensington meeting. Based at Newcastle in New South Wales, Lees has been training in his own right since 2003 following the sudden death of his father Max.

He has trained 15 G1 winners, highlighted by the Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory of Lucia Valentina in 2016 plus three with star filly Samantha Miss. Earlier this month he reached 200 for the 2019-20 season, more than half of them at NSW country tracks.

152½ Tony Gollan

Australia: Trainer Tony Gollan set a new Queensland state record for winners on Saturday [July 18] when Solar Star won the Gai Waterhouse Classic, a Listed race at Ipswich.

Gollan went into Saturday’s meeting on the 151½ mark – dead-heats count for only a half in Australia – and needed one more victory to eclipse the previous best of 152. Solar Star duly obliged to give Gollan his eighth Listed win of the season.

Last month Gollan became the first trainer ever to record 100 metropolitan winners in a Brisbane season.

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