HKJC hosts Apprentice Jockeys’ School 50th anniversary race day in celebration
The Hong Kong Jockey Club staged the Apprentice Jockeys’ School (AJS) 50th Anniversary Race Day at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday to commemorate the milestone anniversary of the school and its contribution to nurturing Hong Kong horse racing talents over the past years.
The feature race, AJS 50th Anniversary Cup (Class 3 1200m) was won by the Douglas Whyte trained Ace One under jockey Ruan Maia.
With the AJS entering its 50th anniversary, the Racing Development Board is also rebranded as the Racing Talent Training Centre with two schools under it, the AJS and the Racing Talent School (RTS). While the AJS will continue provide riding training, the RTS will provide skills specific training for non-riding professionals like stable assistants, assistant trainer, farrier and more.
Since 2008, over 1,800 staff and trainees have completed certificate courses at the AJS.
Prior to the race meeting this afternoon, there was a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony with The Education University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Association of Sports Medicine and Sports Science and Guangdong Vocational Institute of Sports, driving future plans for training and developing racing talents in the Mainland and Hong Kong through various new initiatives aimed at delivering excellence in training.
“Hong Kong is a global leader in thoroughbred racing, with world-class trainers, jockeys and horses and a fan base of millions around the world. This achievement is the work of decades and would not have been possible without the contribution of our Apprentice Jockeys’ School in producing world-class talent,” Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the HKJC Chief Executive Officer said.
Over the years since AJS was established in 1972, a long list of well talented home-grown jockeys, such as Matthew Chadwick, Vincent Ho, Derek Leung, Matthew Poon and Keith Yeung have received training there.
Many successful graduates have even gone on becoming top class trainers in the industry, including legendary jockey-turned-trainer Tony Cruz, Frankie Lor, Danny Shum and Ricky Yiu. All of them have excelled in the sport and have advanced Hong Kong racing’s reputation worldwide.