Aug 06, 2012

Thought I would share my brief Asian experience within the stable news this week.

I flew out to Hong Kong last Monday and caught a ferry over to
Macau. I spent the whole week there with 9 other apprentices from other countries. It was good group of boys who were all at different stages of their career but all rode well. We spent the week travelling around Macau getting to know a bit more about the country, heritage and racing background. During the week we had to ride work every morning. No such thing as a day of in my life! Ha-ha. I actually really enjoyed it though. The weather was great so it kept my weight in control after the Chinese buffet dinners, but also built up some contacts that may come in handy if I ever look at going back to Macau for a stint in my career. So with track work and all the tours we had planned with all the apprentices it was a full on week. Saturday finally came around and it was what we had all come for. It was a twilight meeting so the races didn’t start until 4pm. My ride was in the 2nd race. It was an apprentice race over 1350m on the sand track. I finished fourth. Had every chance but was good enough.

I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the kickback of the sand hitting your face at that pace, but the experience was good. My 2nd ride was in the fourth race. It was one of the feature races on the night. It wasn’t part of the apprentice series so I was grateful to pick up a ride in it. Back on the turf over 1400m I had a perfect run and finished 4th again. I thought I was a live chance on straightening with the way it travelled. It just struggled to run down the leader with an on-pace and rails bias. My last ride was in the apprentice race over 1800m on the turf. Things didn’t go to plan from the start. I was going to go forward early but my horse came out of the gates on its nose, so I was behind the eight ball and had to play catch up. With a slowly run race I was never in an ideal position and had to wait for the right runs. Eventually I got a nice track into it and ran fourth. I thought it was a good run by the horse considering the circumstances. It was tough riding in the conditions considering im use to Melbourne’s cold weather. We were riding in 35 degree heat so it was fair to say that making the weight was no problem. And so that was the end of the work side of the trip. After the races I let the hair down a bit and went for some dinner at the club with the apprentices and then headed out for a night out. The trip soon came to an end as we rose from the bed and headed to the airport. I slept well on the flight home as I was in need of catching up on some. I landed in this morning and I’m glad to be home. Over all I really enjoyed the experience of it all. The Macau race club, Ron Hall and everyone involved looked after me well and made the trip really worth while. Hopefully I can return one day soon. But for now; focus on riding some winners here.

Jake Noonan