SOUTH African jockey Callan Murray, on a spell in Hong Kong, won the Grade 3 Sha Tin Vase over 1200m aboard outsider Lucky Year on Sunday.

Murray broke broke the ice at Happy Valley racecourse on Wednesday, aboard Master Viking for South African-born trainer Tony Millard – only his sixth ride in the territory.

On Sunday, he teamed up with trainer Danny Shum and the five-year-old Australian-bred gelding to upset the odds in the vase. The win payout was a whopping $89.

The third and fourth horses were ridden by South African-born Chad Schofield and Mauritian Karis Teetan, who, like Murray, is a graduate of the SA Jockey Academy in KwaZulu-Natal.

Hong Kong champion jockey Joao Moreira was unplaced on the well-backed Mr Stunning.

After his victory earlier in the week, Murray told Hong Kong Racing: “I’m so happy. I know the job is all still to do but I was really hoping to get the first winner out of the way early just so it didn’t chip away at me that I hadn’t had a winner yet, and so I wasn’t seen as unlucky.

“The pace here is a bit faster than in South Africa and I think my experience of riding in Australia has helped me adjust. But I know everyone comes in as an underdog and has to prove themselves.

“I’m not setting any goal for the number of winners I’d like to get because then I might be disappointed if I don’t get there. But hopefully I’ll improve as a jockey in the next two months, we’ll see how it goes and I’d like to come back again next season.”


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