Hong Kong’s 13-time champion jockey Douglas Whyte will retire from the saddle on February 10.
However, calling it a day from the saddle does not mean a life away from racing awaits the South African his fans named, “The Durban Demon”.
The 46-year-old is set become Hong Kong’s newest trainer after the Jockey Club’s licensing committee granted Whyte a trainers’ license for the 2019-20 season.
Whyte said: “I’m overwhelmed to say the least, I didn’t think it would happen this quickly.”
“It’s always been a goal of mine to train in Hong Kong and I was hopeful I would be afforded the opportunity to train in Hong Kong but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly.”
Andrew Harding, Executive Director of Racing, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, commented: “This is only the second time in recent history that the Licensing Committee has issued a trainer’s licence to a current jockey, the first time being the licensing of champion jockey Tony Cruz for the 1996/1997 racing season.
“Douglas Whyte is in the same elite category and he has every characteristic necessary to make the transition from riding to training and continuing to play a major part in both maintaining our existing reputation for world-class racing but also propelling Hong Kong racing to even new heights.”
Meanwhile, jockeys Sam Clipperton and Callan Murray won’t be staying on in Hong Kong. Martin Harley and Regan Bayliss have been granted short term licenses, while Alberto Sanna and Grant Van Niekerk have been given extensions on theirs.