Charity auction for cancer-stricken Malaysian apprentice jockey
Fate has dealt a cruel blow to a promising Singapore Training Academy for Racing apprentice jockey who has been training and riding in New Zealand.
Chew Yong Yuan, 25, was supposed to return to ride at Kranji for reigning Singapore champion trainer Michael Clements in August. But he was diagnosed with throat cancer in April.
The winner of five races and the recipient of the Canterbury Jockey Club Most Promising Junior Apprentice prize is not well enough to return to his home in Penang, Malaysia.
His family is also unable to fly to New Zealand to visit him due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
But, fortunately, he has been well-cared for by the New Zealand health system and New Zealand racing authority and community.
His New Zealand master, Christchurch trainer Lance Robinson, and his family have been his caregivers.
Help is also coming from syndicators Go Racing, which is raising funds for Chew at its inaugural golf tournament on Oct 15.
It is supported by Racetrack Support, an arm of the Salvation Army, which cares for the wellbeing of people within the racing industry and offers free confidential service for those in need.
Go Racing's Matt Allnutt said: "It was a no brainer for us, a young guy going through this and needing some support."
The tournament will be held at Bottle Lake Golf Club in Christchurch and will be followed by fundraising raffles and charity auction.
The auction will include memorabilia from the racing world and several big-ticket items, such as a package from New Zealand Bloodstock for Karaka Million night that includes airfare and accommodation.
The Singapore Turf Club starter and former riding master, Damien Kinninmont, has also chipped in a pair of riding breeches signed by Joao Moreira and Zac Purton, two riding greats based in Hong Kong.
"I hope more people can come forward and donate in kind or in cash," said Clements, who took in the Penangite as his trackrider in 2015 and sent him for training in New Zealand in 2017.
"Chew was very helpful as a track rider, had great work ethic and was a very determined guy. He always wanted to spend more time overseas to better himself.
"He is a really likeable guy, and is a really positive-minded person. I have no doubt that is what is keeping him strong now."
Anyone who wishes to donate or bid at the auction can visit www.goracing.co.nz