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James Ross to Hong Kong…and The Peter V’Landys Principle.

It’s always made those of us who are happy being on the fringes of the horse racing world in Hong Kong wonder about the changing landscape within the game, especially as the aging process cannot be reversed and nothing and no one lasts forever- no matter how hard they try.

Before getting to the news about James Ross, a good guy and passionate racing man, could there be flaws in the current Hong Kong apprentice scheme system?

Does it, for example, make sense to have young Hong Kong born riders continue to be sent to South Australia at what must be quite a great deal of expense to gain experience, and only to have them return to home base after 3-4 years abroad and become work riders?

Why work riders? Because quite a number aren’t deemed good enough for the competitive arena of Hong Kong race riding.

Could this be because of them riding in less than world class tracks like in Townsville, Port Lincoln, Toowoomba etc?

Is there no chance of them gaining at least some experience riding for the stables of Ciaran Maher, Waterhouse-Bott, Annabel Neasham, the Hayes brothers etc?


Right now, some in the Chinese racing media are adamant that apprentice Nicola Yuen, below, who’s currently finishing her apprenticeship in Adelaide, will return to Hong Kong as a superstar rider with the potential, at least according to one writer, to be the next Jamie Kah.


As for the return of James Ross to the HKJC fold, this might have to do with family reasons- his wife is a Hong Kong girl-or perhaps it might have to do with Peter V’Landys seemingly sold on the potential of the NRL in the US and perhaps ready to bid a fond adieu to horse racing.

Though not everyone might share his bullishness for the NRL in America, it would be foolish to discard PVL as being delusional.

Let’s never forget how he succeeded with the Everest, the big daddy of pop-up races throughout Australia and giving the Pattern Committee the two finger salute.

The more pertinent question for at least Hong Kong racing that kinda just trucks along these days is who James Ross might be replacing at the HKJC?

If we’re correct, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Far more interesting is following our old mate Pete as something of a Donald Trumpian character in the wide world of sports and what happens to racing in New South Wales if he leaves having bigger fish to fry in his role as the head of the NRL.


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