Racing

Curatolo gets HK invite

He will ride in the Hong Kong Macau Trophy race over 1,400m

French jockey Ryan Curatolo is thrilled at being given another chance of riding in Hong Kong on May 12.

Based in Singapore since the beginning of the year, Curatolo, who is currently fourth on the Kranji log, will return to the former British colony where he has secured a mount in the Hong Kong Macau Trophy over 1,400m.

Curatolo was one of the leading jockeys in Macau last year when he was booked by trainer MC Tam to ride Bobo So Cute in the annual Interport race between the two neighbouring racing centres.

Curatolo was, however, not successful and he fared no better on his three other mounts.

One year on, when an opportunity to have another shot at the racing mecca presented itself, Curatolo grabbed it.

Even though he has left Macau, it would seem his talent is still well sought-after by connections there.

"I'm going to ride Mister Kaopu for Macau in the Hong Kong Macau Trophy. Both (trainer) James Moore and the owners were keen to put me on as I've ridden that horse before and won five times on him," said Curatolo who returns from suspension for careless riding this week.

"As there were no races at Kranji on May 12, I was more than happy to fly over to Hong Kong to ride there for the one meeting.

"I rode at the same meeting last year. I didn't ride a winner, but just being there was great .

"I think Tony Cruz may give me a few rides, and I've also approached Chris So for rides."

Curatolo, who enjoyed a successful short stint in Japan before beginning his six-month contract in Singapore in January, said he always has a "have saddle will travel" approach.

"I love riding overseas, and riding in Hong Kong again is definitely cool, and hopefully, I have better luck this time. When I came here for the one meeting last year, I was lucky to ride two winners," he said.

"I was invited to ride in Hong Kong, but I also believe in charting my own destiny at times. Last year, I actually paid my own way to Japan to try my luck and I had a lot of success.

"Even if Hong Kong is tougher to break in with so many top jockeys who already have the pick of the rides, you never know what can happen."

HORSE RACING