Douglas Whyte, Hong Kong's undisputed champion jockey for the last seven seasons, won his second Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Jockeys' Championship in the 10th renewal of the big event at Happy Valley on Wednesday evening.
Whyte, who started the evening two wins short of equaling the record for the most winners in Hong Kong, won the first leg of the competition aboard the appropriately named Champion Lad by a half a length. He also won the America Handicap with Man In The Mirror to bring his total numer of wins in Hong Kong to 946, which ties Tony Cruz's record.
In the second leg of the International Jockeys' Championship, French jockey Christope Soumillon won aboard Super Surprise while Emma-Jayne Wilson of Canada, the first woman to participate, took second place on Vincere. Eventual winner Whyte was third with Vintage Gold.
Whyte managed to grab a fifth place on Fujian Prince in the last leg to bring his to tally to 18 points ahead of Soumillon on 15 points and Damian Oliver on 14. Australian jockey Damian Oliver came on late to win the final leg of the competition aboard Dr Possi, after taking a nasty looking fall on Classa Win in the first leg. Both horse and rider were fine after the spill.
An ecstatic Whyte said: "It is a great honor to represent Hong Kong and you have to be sharper than ever when competing against these jockeys. I've won this Championship before but it's been a while and what a day to draw level with Tony Cruz. I hope I'm not putting the mockers on it but the chance I can go ahead on Sunday, with everybody there, will be absolutely amazing. There was no better way to level it than winning on one of John's (Size) horses, who has been such a supporter and friend."
Runner-up Soumillon said, " I am really happy with that. It's a great experience to compete against some of the best jockeys in the world. I thought I had a strong chance in the first race but you need a horse with a small action to go around this tight track. I have won this competition and it's been great to compete again."
Emma-Jayne Wilson said: "The whole night was amazing and I was flattered to be here. That was excellent, an absolutely wonderful night and I think the experience will do me a lot of good."
The great evening was capped with a betting handle of HK$753.9 million and the crowd up from 20,134 last year to 20,579 for 2007.