By Tony Megahey
Champion Country rider Greg Ryan typically will have the strongest betting following at Friday’s Dubbo TAB meeting, but ample interest and sentiment will ride with Chinese apprentice Qin Yong who is on three contenders.
Affectionately nicknamed “Jerry” by his peers, the 28-year-old has travelled world-wide to forge a career. As his success and popularity grows, the racing fraternity is well aware of the sacrifices Qin has made.
Apprenticed to Brad Widdup at Hawkesbury, Qin has been away for extended time from his wife Yu Lin and a new born baby back home as he furthers his education in Australia. He started his career in China then rode in Singapore and Barbados. Vitally, Qin is sponsored by the China Horse Club, owners of champion US sprinter Justify who last week became the 13th Triple Crown winner.
“Qin was a late starter but he came to us well schooled,” Widdup said. “Aside from riding in the Far East and Barbados he was also educated in the British Riding Academy.
“He rides well, improving all the time, he’s away from his family, he’s prepared to work hard and learn.
“His claim is an incentive for trainers and he’s starting to ride some winners.”
Qin has ridden eight winners this season with a double at Mudgee in May. He has been successful for Widdup and for accomplished Dubbo trainer Clint Lundholm.
On Friday, Qin rides one of the best performed regional sprinters, Joey’s Destiny for Lundholm after winning on him recently at Dubbo and placing at Tamworth. Qin’s 3kg claim from the 57kg brings the five-racing winning flyer in with a luxury weight in the Touch Of Beauty Open Sprint (1000m).
In the seventh event, Qui will be attempting back-to-back victories after an impressive winning ride on Lundholm’s Fire Flight recently at Wellington. Fire Flight is again ideally placed with his allocated 59.5 kg again reduced by Qin’s valuable allowance.
Meanwhile Greg Ryan, typically has seven rides on the eight-race programme, headed by highly promising last start winners Magic Over The Bay resuming and Bedtime Stories. In the midst of another phenomenal season, Ryan last week rode four winners at Wellington and a double at Quirindi. He has passed 3600 winners this season.