Justifying generous advance notices, Luke Ferraris savoured maiden Hong Kong success in the best possible fashion by producing a copybook ride on Go Ballistic to win the Class 5 Heung Yip Handicap, simultaneously delivering his father David’s first winner of the 2021/22 season at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
Riding in his 21st race in Hong Kong since relocating from South Africa, the 19-year-old was hoisted into his father’s arms in a telling show of post-race emotion after Go Ballistic notched his first victory at his 27th start.
“I didn’t even know he had that in him,” the talented Group 1-winning jockey said of his father’s embrace. “It must have been adrenalin. The last time he did that (lifted his son into his arms), I must have been five (years old).
“Very fitting that the first winner was for Dad. I’m over the moon to have my first winner in Hong Kong. It’s a bit of a feat and to have it for Dad is the cherry on top.”
The Hong Kong Jockey Club reports that raised in Hong Kong before returning to the land of his birth, Ferraris is the most recent addition to Hong Kong’s decorated riding ranks and he has quickly learned the value of opportunities.
“It’s a lot more competitive here. The opportunities are harder to come by than elsewhere. The racing here is very well run and getting the opportunities is the big thing because if you don’t have the horse, you don’t have the horse.”
Ferraris could scarcely have done more to showcase his talents than with his tactically brilliant display aboard Go Ballistic in a display which left his father suitably impressed.
“It’s like a dream for us,” Ferraris Senior said. “His father might be battling, but at least his son’s on his way, so I’m very happy with that.
“He’s a top rider, he’s a multiple Group One-winning jockey and he can hold his own anywhere. The trainers will see that.”
As for Go Ballistic, Ferraris was pleasantly surprised by the gelding’s effort.
“He’s been dreadfully disappointing, he’s by a very average stallion Duke Of Marmalade – a very poor stallion – but he looks a million dollars, so hopefully he can win in Class 4,” he said.
The South African-bred winner was formerly trained by Ormond Ferraris and registered his only previous win at Turffontein on 10 June 2018.