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Douglas Whyte learns new training craft

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Retired jockey Douglas Whyte (c) is learning about training from the likes of David Hayes (r).

Retired Hong Kong champion jockey Douglas Whyte has been kept busy putting the finishing touches to his new trade since he hung up his saddle.

The 13-time champion jockey begins the new racing season in Hong Kong as a trainer and has spent the past couple of months learning the secrets of a number of champion conditioners.

As he can’t get his hands on his Hong Kong horses until the start of July, Whyte has travelled to Dubai and the UK and is presently in Australia shadowing David Hayes in Victoria.

“I’ve got a yard but in the interim I’ve been away,” Whyte said.

“I spent two weeks with Mike De Kock in Dubai, six weeks in the UK with William Haggas, Sir Michael Stoute and Charlie Appleby and now I’m having a stint with David Hayes and then I’ll go up to Chris Waller and then I’ll go home to set up shop.”

Whyte said each trainer’s methods were different but he had gathered a lot of information which he said could only be beneficial to his new career.

He hopes to start with a team of 25 to 30 horses although he has capacity for up to 60.

“I’ve had calls from owners that have supported me and who I’ve ridden winners for and I’m overwhelmed with the support that I have got,” Whyte said.

“But I don’t want to go too big too soon. I want to get a routine up and running.

“And I wouldn’t want to train anywhere else in the world.

“I’ve been there 22 years and know the system.

“I know the people and the beauty of Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Jockey Club. They employ your staff, they pay your staff, they pay my salary.

“All I have to do is turn up in the morning and train.”

Whyte said while in the UK he was able to tick off a bucket list item to ride work on the gallops around Newmarket.

And back in Hong Kong Whyte plans to continue riding trackwork in the early days of his training career.

“I want to get my team to understand the pace I want, my system, my routine, so I’ll be doing two or three a morning and then watch the rest from the ground,” he said.

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