Leading British rider Harry Bentley is set to add Hong Kong to his riding CV as he makes his debut at Sha Tin on Saturday having six rides at the track and the jockey is very much looking forward to it.
The rider starts his spell out in Asia having had to quarantine for 21 day before being allowed out and the Englishman will now be riding in Hong Kong until mid July where he will then come back to ride in Britain.
Bentley has six rides across the day starting with Telecom Missile in the six-furlong opener for trainer Dennis Yip and he is looking to mark his debut ride with a win.
(Credit ATR) He said: “It was definitely a surprise, but a very welcome surprise, I’ve already said it a few times, but I always really wanted to come out here at one stage and give it a go because I feel like I fit the mould quite well, I’ve got some good international experience and my weight’s really good.
“I’m chomping at the bit, I feel good and obviously I haven’t sat on a horse since I’ve been here which is close to a month now, but that won’t be a problem and now seems the perfect time to give it a go, I have good experience behind me but I’m still quite young also.
“I’m under no illusions in how competitive this place is, it’s a very good pool of jockeys to compete against and I’m managing my expectations, but at the same time I want to give it my all – you have to be confident in your own abilities.
“If I came in here with no confidence, I may as well not bother, I’m definitely coming in with managed expectations, but at the same time I’m confident in my abilities.”
The 28 year old has been abroad now for the last 11 seasons being six-times champion jockey in Qatar, whilst also having spells of riding in Germany, Canada, France, America and Dubai.
He added: I started going away to the Middle East when I was only 18 years old and I’ve been abroad every single year since I started riding for the last 11 seasons.
“I’ve ridden a lot in Dubai and Qatar, but also all around the Middle East in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
“I had a great time in Qatar and I do think my experience from there will stand me in good stead because it’s quite a small oval track which is only around a mile around, it’s not quite as tight as Happy Valley, but it’s a tight track where it’s very pace and speed dependent.
“You have to be very positive from the stalls and I think that’ll give me a bit of an edge rather than having only arrived with experience from the United Kingdom.”