Martin Harley has muscled in on one of the world’s most talented weighing rooms with his first ever Hong Kong winner at Happy Valley earlier today.
After 14 rides and just one place finish since joining the HK ranks at the start of February, Harley hit the front on High Five and hung on to land the Class 3 6f Fenwick Handicap by a short-head from the Grant van Niekerk-ridden Alcari.
“It’s a big relief, for sure – it’s definitely not easy here,” the Trentagh man said after driving the Tony Millard-trained 87/1 chance to victory.
“I’ve been annoying Mr. Millard a little bit for a winner because I’ve seen that he’s well able to train them. He said he’d give me a winner and fair play to him – thankfully, my first one is for him and hopefully he supports me going forward,” Harley said.
“The first few rides have been a good learning curve. It’s not like English racing, you can’t stay jollied up to the furlong pole and then expect them to go – you have to keep the rhythm up here,” he said.
“High Five is the best horse I’ve ridden by far since I came here and he proved it by winning. He was an 80/1 shot or whatever but he’s been in Class 1 company before and ran well, so it wasn’t a big shock to me.”
“That’s a good confidence booster tonight. It’s a big relief to get my first winner and it’s proven that I can ride a winner or maybe more in Hong Kong.”