Angus Chung Yik-lai likened teaming up with Tony Cruz to “hitting the lottery”, saying the 26-year-old said a crash course from the legendary trainer would help the gates open for the first race at Sha. I hope to avoid taking naps when I do. Tin on Sunday.

Hong Kong’s newest apprentice has been like a sponge since being indentured by Cruz a few weeks ago.

“He taught me a lot. He taught me how to ride the equisizer, how to push a horse and how to effectively jump out of a gate. It’s good to have his guidance.” That’s right,” Chong said.

“I’m very excited for our first meeting and a little nervous at the same time. I’ve been in a few trials and it felt a little different than Adelaide, so I’m looking forward to Sunday.”

Chong is the first apprentice jockey to start his career on Cruise since Matthew Chadwick, who finished his apprenticeship earlier than any modern jockey, and is excited to see how much he can grow under the guidance of a master. to

Like Matthew Poon Ming-Fai, Jerry Chau Chun-lok, and a string of others before him, Chung returned to Hong Kong after cutting his teeth in Adelaide, where he perfected his technique under the watchful eye of trainer John O’Connor. Polished.

“He’s a good boss and has taught me a lot about riding, how to do things during a race and caring for horses,” he said.

Chung rode 82 winners in Australia and Cruz noted the jockey’s “dexterity and balance”. Chong is excited as he prepares for six rides at Sunday’s season opener, including Cruz’s previous start winner in the Class 3 Sunset Peak Handicap (1,400m), Circuit Stellar. I admit that I am as nervous as I am.

Trainer Tony Cruz enjoys a winner.Photo: Kenneth Chan

Circuit Stellar did not perform well in the recent all-weather trials under Chung, but Cruz said Chung’s £10 claim would cut Galloper’s impost from £135 to £125. I hope

“The trial was on dirt, which is not very suitable for him, but I am sure he will perform better on grass. ” said Chong, who is also Cruz’s California Deep Shot partner.

Chong is also teaming up with another rookie hoping to make headlines at the first meeting of the 2022-23 campaign, partnering Lucky Patch, Infinite Power and Stunning Impact to bring rookie trainer Pierre Teamed up with Ng Punchy.

“Pierre Ng has been very supportive and I hope I can win for him,” Chong said.

Lucky Patch qualified for the Class 1 HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup (1,200m), while Chan, after winning back-to-back Group 2 races last season, drove Group 1 Hong Kong favorite Galloper on Sunday. I’m excited to be able to try out the features of Sprint.

“This is a very big race for me and I am grateful for the opportunity from the owner and trainer,” he said.

“Barrier 4 is a good barrier and I hope we can move him forward a bit and take advantage of the barrier and my claim.

“Looking at the speedmap and form, there are probably three horses in front. We should be able to come back performing like we did in the season.”


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