Apprentice bounces back in Hong Kong
‘‘Derek made a full recovery after undergoing necessary rehabilitation.’’
It’s well known the risks that jockeys are exposed to as they go about their profession, with no better reminder than the close call former Matamata apprentice Derek Leung experienced recently in Hong Kong.
A decade back Derek spent two seasons with Lance O’Sullivan as part of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s apprentice training programme and rode seven winners in that time. Now aged 28, he is well established in Hong Kong jockey ranks.
Riding in a race at Sha Tin, Derek was thrown to the ground when his mount suffered a heart attack. Worse still, the horse kept rolling and landed right on top of the prone jockey.
When medics arrived on the scene Derek was unconscious and was later found to have a brain bleed, but thanks to his protective helmet he was saved from great injury. The helmet itself was virtually demolished, providing a graphic illustration of just how lucky Derek had been.
The best news is that Derek made a full recovery after rehabilitation and marked his return to race-riding at Sha Tin on Sunday with a win. That was just the ticket to set him up as a member of the local team for this week’s international jockeys’ series at Happy Valley.
Derek Leung, pictured with trainer Peter Ho to his left and winning connections, celebrates his comeback victory at Sha Tin on Sunday.