Vincent Ho locks in return date with future star

Standout horses future and present have motivated Vincent Ho through a remarkable rehabilitation from a serious off-season back injury, but he says he will be choosing quality rides over quantity when he returns on September 17.

Vincent Ho's intensive rehabilitation regime has him closing in on a Sha Tin return. (Photo by Lo Chun Kit)

Michael Cox



In a Tokyo hospital bed less than six weeks ago, with a fractured vertebrae and damage to his lungs suffered in a crushing fall at Niigata, it seemed unlikely Vincent Ho would be riding anytime soon, let alone September. 

An initial outlook of three months on the sidelines was a blow to a 33-year-old who had just completed a career-best season of 97 wins and continued to put his name up in lights as Golden Sixty’s rider. 

Ho immediately set himself a different time frame and declared he would be back for Sunday’s season opener. Even though he will not be ready for that fixture, a rigorous rehabilitation process with specialists and physical therapists has him on track to return at the Sha Tin meeting a week later. 

“I am recovering well,” Ho told Asian Racing Report after he spoke to doctors and received follow-up scans on Tuesday.

“Actually, the doctors would have let me ride this Sunday, but I think it is a bit too rushed because I want to get to a level of fitness and strength that will let me handle horses. Horses can be unpredictable and I am better to feel completely strong and safe on a horse again. I don’t want to rush into anything and risk re-injury.”


Pushing Ho through the exhaustive schedule to get his body right was the chance to reunite with one of Hong Kong’s most exciting young sprinters. Dream Winner has won three-from-three in dominant fashion and trainer Franki Lor has the prospect slated to run in a Class 2 up the straight. 

“Dream Winner is the reason I am back on the 17th, and as soon as I have the green light to be back at trackwork I will be on his back for a gallop or two,” Ho said. “He is a nice horse with a lot of potential.” 

Even though he was runner-up in the jockeys’ premiership last season, Ho will be managing his workload when he returns. 

“I won’t be taking as many rides in the coming months,” he said. “Maybe just two or three, or maximum four per meeting, and just looking for good chances. I want to slowly build up my strength, fitness and momentum. I have been training since week two of the process, doing cycling, and have been working hard with the physios.” 

Vincent Ho aboard exciting sprinter Dream Winner. (Photo by Lo Chun Kit)

In the distance the date Ho has in his sights is December 10 and the Hong Kong Mile, where Golden Sixty is set to run first-up. 

The ambitious plan from trainer Francis Lui – who says the planned seven-months break is not injury related – holds no concern for the jockey that has ridden the eight-year-old in all 29 career starts, 25 of them wins. 

“He is a great horse fresh,” said Ho, who believes the plan is not a precursor to retirement and could even prolong the three-time Hong Kong horse of the year’s career. 

“Racing is Golden Sixty’s joy, it is what he loves to do, he is competitive ,” Ho said.

“When it does come time to retire him it will be great for him to get into nature, and be a real horse, but as long as he is healthy and wants to race, let’s let him do what he loves to do. It isn’t about us, it is about him.”




    Subscribe now & get exclusive weekly content from Asian Racing Report direct to your inbox

      Expert ratings, tips & analysis for Hong Kong racing