Hong Kong-based jockey Vincent Ho was successful on his first ride in England as he edged Mark Johnston closer to breaking the record for number of winners trained in Britain when X Rated won at Haydock.
Formerly a champion apprentice in Hong Kong, Ho’s spell overseas was delayed by visa issues and he will only be able to ride for 10 days, but he showed all his skill in the saddle on Merseyside.
Settled on the outside, X Rated (6-1) took a while to hit top gear, but the grey always looked likely to catch Maroc and Rebel Cause and won by half a length in the Smarkets Betting Exchange Handicap.
“He was very honest and he showed early speed,” Ho told Racing UK.
“I just followed the pace around and he enjoyed free running and he just kept going, he was very strong.
“It’s quite different here, you need to be very patient. The jockeys here are very strong and very competitive and that is why I came here, to learn.”
Ho, 28, went on: “The pacing is nice, too, it was faster than I expected because when I rode in France it was very slow.
“I tried to wait as long as I could and he just kept on fighting.”
Johnston is chasing down a mark of 4,194 set by Richard Hannon senior.