Hong Kong riding legend Douglas Whyte was on the board quickly as a trainer with a winner from his second runner at Sunday’s opening meeting of the Hong Kong season.
Whyte secured his trainer’s licence soon after retiring from the saddle earlier this year following a glittering career that produced 13 Hong Kong jockeys’ titles.
The South African horseman spent time with top trainers around the world, including David Hayes in Victoria and Chris Waller in Sydney, to gain further insight into his new craft.
Whyte’s maiden runner Le Panache finished fourth in the first race of Sunday’s Sha Tin meeting before Australian rider Regan Bayliss steered Adonis to victory for the stable in the Mount Parker Handicap (1200m).
Whyte said Adonis has taken some working out, which made his win especially satisfying.
“I think it is just as emotional I reckon, it is a good feeling,” Whyte told the South China Morning Post.
“I have had a lot of success since I have been here but to have a winner here as a trainer, it’s not about that, it’s about the effort and the time that has gone into this horse.
“He has been a very difficult horse to ride and I have been the only one on him every single day and that, for me, is satisfaction.
“I can’t tell you how satisfying that is when a horse learns to trust you and you can turn it around from a horse that used to take off with its head up, to get him to put his head down and enjoy work.
“I didn’t even trial him because I knew if I did it would work him up too much, so I have just been doing slow work, a couple of canters and one jump-out.”
Whyte rated Bayliss’s ride on Adonis as a “10 out of 10”.
“Regan has done a lot of work for me and he is a lovely young guy,” Whyte said.
“He hasn’t had many opportunities and been off for a long time so to come back to Hong Kong and ride a race with such confidence, it is good for him going forward.”
-Report and photo: punters.com.au