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With the strength of Korea and Singapore in joining the might of Japan and Hong Kong that sees the re-emergence of Macau as a ‘Pearl of The Orient’ in thoroughbred racing.

Already horse numbers are rising and now the Macau Jockey Club has launched the Horse Racing Culture Heritage Scheme for Club Members ‘to pass on the baton to the next generation.’

Club Members now have the opportunity for relatives and friends to be new horse owners through the purchase and import of horses on the next two shipments, commencing in November.

The new owner can also enrol in full Club Membership, with the admission fee waived, while the existing Member receiving a healthy entertainment voucher, plus there’s a 60 horse limit.

In meeting this demand, it’s Senior Stipendiary Steward Scott Matthews as Jockey Training Program Manager that the MJC has relaunched the careers of former jockeys to again ride in races.

With COVID restrictions hindering the arrival of foreign jockeys into Macau, its Armando Rivera, Huang Shi Hao, Liang Xiaochuan, Walter Tesuri and Troy Songderi who are ‘donning silks.’

Assisted by champion jockey and trainer Peter Leyshan, Scott utilises the Just Horse Racing website, along with a program of physical fitness training, a riding clinic and racing video classes.

Now with a 30 year career, Scott was formally Senior Steward and Racing Advisor in Korea, having also had 24 years in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, beginning as a Cadet Steward in 1990.

However, it’s the Club’s former Masters of Apprentices who raised the riding, stable management and husbandry standards by introducing Video Mentoring and Riding Instructors.

There is no doubting that Macau gained international recognition some 25 years ago under Edmond Wong, with John Schreck as Director of Racing and Dr Stanley Ho as MJC Chairman.

Macau in hosting the successful 26th Asian Racing Conference in 1999 was definitely a Club highlight, and gained international recognition through its successful approach to modern day racing.

Macau gave the Asian Racing Federation the avenue for remodelling under Simon Cooper, and now honours its membership of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

At this time, Macau raced twice a week with the eight race card having up to 96 starters and horse numbers nearing 1300 with ownership expanding further into Hong Kong and Asia.

Top European’s Darrell Holland, Ray Cochrane, Claude Piccione and William Mosguil rode in Macau, along with Manoel Nenus and Jose Corrales from Panama and Sweden’s Jenny Moeller.

Macau was well served by Australian jockeys Geoff Lane, Steven Burridge, Michael Cahill, Patrick Payne, Neil Paine, Danny Beasley and Kiwi’s Brett Thomson, John Didham and Lisa Cropp.

English Derby winning jockey Edward Hide and Robert Heffernan were Assistant Trainers, with Harry Troy becoming English Race Caller and both Phillip Waldron and Len Maud as Race Starters.

In addition to George and Gary Moore, it’s Michael Kent, Barry Baldwin, Gordon Benson, Peter Leyshan, Geoff Allendorf, George Williams and John Gilmore who swelled the training ranks.

In fact, its legendary Australia jockey George Moore who established Macau as a success, having been leading trainer in Hong Kong for 11 seasons, and 10 times Champion Jockey in Sydney.

George Moore certainly took Macau by storm, with his 11 times Hong Kong Champion Jockey son Gary as stable rider, his daughter Michelle as assistant trainer and Peter Leyshan as second jockey.

In Gary Moore also being French Champion Jockey in 1987 and winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Gold River, he went onto capture the Macau Trainers Premiership on eight occasions.

Today, Gary’s son Nicholas is third generation of the Moore family training in Macau, while Peter Leyshan is in his 26th year in ‘colony’ having been both Champion Trainer and Leading Jockey.

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