POPULAR South African jockey Grant van Niekerk has been sacked by the Hong Kong Jockey Club with immediate effect.

Van Niekerk (29), whom many Hong Kong and indeed other racing fans believe has the ‘X’ factor as one of the most talented young riders around, was fifth in the HK jockeys’ championship. He was “delicensed” by the licensing committee on Monday as a result of a “conduct-related matter which does not pertain to any race riding or integrity-related matter”.

It is said that Van Niekerk was involved in a domestic incident.

Van Niekerk has ridden 37 winners so far this season, his mounts earning gross stakes of over HK$56-million (app ZAR135-million). This excludes his riding fees of approximately HK$1,200 (app ZAR3,000) per ride.

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