Rookie of the year: Pierre Ng keen to hit the world stage, soon

Pierre Ng is having a stellar season but his Japan G1 nominee Duke Wai is unlikely to travel as the first year trainer pursues goals closer to home.

Trainer Pierre Ng (left) has enjoyed a fine debut season. (Photo by Lo Chun Kit)

Michael Cox



In the midst of a standout rookie campaign, trainer Piere Ng is keen to put his stable on the world stage, especially in Japan, but his surprise Japan G1 nomination Duke Wai isn’t likely to be heading abroad. Instead, Ng’s focus is centred upon delivering ‘at least one win each’ to his loyal supporter base of owners. 

Nearing the midway mark of the season, Ng is eighth on the trainers’ premiership standings with 23 wins and this week he produced a surprise by nominating his 112-rated sprinter Duke Wai for next month’s G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo. 

The bad news for racing fans keen to see a Hong Kong sprinter tackle a Japanese G1 for the first time since 2018 is that Ng says there is “not a high percentage” Duke Wai will make the trip, but the good news is that the entry signals a long-held desire by the 39-year-old to campaign his horse’s overseas. 

Ng said it was his understanding that Duke Wai did not have the required international rating to have his transport subsidised by the Japan Racing Association (JRA) and it would be left to the horse’s owners to fund the trip to a race in which the seven-year-old would start an outsider in betting.


Duke Wai was previously prepared by Paul O'Sullivan. (Photo by Lo Chun Kit)

“At this stage, it is not a high percentage,” Ng said. “We didn’t get an invite and we would have to pay for the trip. Hopefully we can build his rating up and qualify for some races.” 

The nomination spoke to the global ambitions of the trainer, who also explored the possibility of starts in Dubai or Saudi Arabia for Duke Wai. Of course if Ng does make the trip to Chukyo it won’t be the first time he has been, just the first time as a trainer. 

Ng was assistant to Paul O’Sullivan back in 2015 when Aeorvelocity triumphed in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen. He also returned with the horse the following year and was credited with helping spot what could have been the early signs of colic. Aerovelocity returned to Hong Kong safely, and after recuperating, won the 2016 Hong Kong Sprint as an eight-year-old

The second generation trainer, son of retired trainer Peter Ng, is a student of Japanese culture; his minor while completing a degree at the University of New South Wales was Japanese cultural studies. 

Pierre Ng (left) leading champion sprinter Aerovelocity before his win in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo, 2015. (Photo by Donald Lee)

As far as the rest of this domestic season is concerned, Ng said his goal isn’t to win as many races as he can, but to win for as many owners as possible. 

“I think that is important, to get a win for every owner that has supported me in my first season,” he said. “It is about giving back to the people who have supported me and building a foundation.” 

Given that Ng has a full stable of 70 horses – 11 of them unraced – he still has room for growth, and a lot more owners to win for yet. 

”I’ll have to keep working hard,” Ng said. “We still have lots of untapped talent and it is up to me to get the best out of them.”




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