In April 2020, apprentice Jerry Chau, who was learning his trade in South Australia at the time, got the call-up from the Hong Kong Jockey Club granting Chau permission to ride in Hong Kong, initially until the end of the 2019/20 season.
Chau had spent just over a year in South Australia. He was indentured to the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas training partnership for that time, in which he rode seventy-seven winners which included some Black Type successes.
And the young man has not looked back sine that call-up.
As Chau’s first full season in Hong Kong (2020/21) draws to a close, Chau has racked up a string of significant achievements.
Only Champions Joao Moreira and Zac Purton have better strike rates for the season than Chau’s winning strike rate statistic of twelve percent. Also, he has ridden a very impressive 56 winners for the season and is currently in contention to take out the Tony Cruz Award, the prize for Hong Kong’s most successful homegrown jockey in 2020/21. Chau currently trails Vincent Ho by two winners in a two-horse race for that honour.
Clearly Chau has developed the skills … and has the required dedication … to be able to flourish in such a competitive environment and he has been helped in no small measure by the fact that he is working under the guidance of, now trainer, Douglas White, who dominated the riding ranks in Hong Kong in his time, winning thirteen Jockey Premierships.
“He’s riding very well and, if he manages to get the (Tony Cruz) award, he deserves it. For a young apprentice to be achieving what he is at the moment is phenomenal,” said Whyte on the Hong Kong Jockey Club website.
High praise indeed, particularly coming from a man of Whyte’s stature.
*The Hong Kong season wraps up at Happy Valley on July 14.