David Morgan

Chief Journalist


Handicap shakes up Kokura Kinen plan for Vincent Ho

The Hong Kong rider’s initial intended mount Piece Of Eight was on Monday allotted a lighter weight than his registered minimum.

Vincent Ho will miss out on the ride aboard Piece Of Eight in Sunday’s Kokura Kinen after Silk Racing’s smart three-year-old was allotted 53 kilograms for the Group 3 handicap at Kokura.

Ho’s official riding weight with the JRA is 54 kilograms and he has rarely ridden as light as 53 kilograms (a shade under 117lb) in recent times. He last rode at 116lb in Hong Kong in early December and since the turn of the year he has got down to 117lb on only five occasions, the latest being May 7 at Sha Tin.  

“I’ve always put down my weight as 54 kilos,” Ho told the Report. “My agent booked me for Piece Of Eight because he saw that it was a good ride for me but then when the weights came out, he was given 53 kilos to carry, so because I’m not riding at that lower weight, I wasn’t able to take the ride this time.”

The Hong Kong jockey, best known for his partnership with the star miler Golden Sixty, has had two wins from 22 rides during his summer stint so far and boosted his profile with victory in the G3 Leopard Stakes at Niigata last weekend on the Yoshito Yahagi-trained Kafuji Octagon.


Vincent Ho scores on Kafuji Octagon at Niigata. (Photo by JRA)

Piece Of Eight is the provisional market’s third pick in the 2000-metre Kokura Kinen. The colt won his first three starts including the G3 Mainichi Hai at Hanshin in March before running last of 18 behind Do Deuce in the G1 Tokyo Yushun.

Hiroki Matsumoto will now take the ride on the Yutaka Okumura-trained son of Screen Hero with Ho switching to another Silk Racing horse, the Takashi Saito-trained longshot Hindu Times, a Listed winner at Hanshin three starts back.  

“I’m enjoying my time here in Japan; I’m pretty happy with how things are going and I’ll keep working to ride more winners before my contract ends,” Ho added.

The rider will conclude his time in Japan by competing in the World All-Star Jockeys at Sapporo on August 27 and 28.



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