Icon of China Racing
1923, Michael Boycott was born in Tientsin.
His father had come to North China as sales agent for Morris Oxford and Morris Cowley cars.
Michael was a dashing figure in the expatriate community after having completed his education.
His speaking was effortlessly fluent Mandarin with a perfect integration to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Tientsin and Peking.
Blue-eyed Michael Boycott was one of the real old “China Hands.”
1939, The Tientsin Race Club had once again broken its rules to allow Michael Boycott to race from the age of 16.
He was soon to be seen in the saddle on most available opportunities around ‘Paomachang’ (racecourse) in Peking and courses variously along the China Coast.
Michael showed flair in the saddle and became an accomplished amateur rider.
He had good understanding of his mounts, knew what they could do, and tried to put them in their races where they could do it.
In Hong Kong
1945, Michael Boycott moved from the North to Hong Kong after the Japanese surrender.
He was quickly to make his impression in the Happy Valley amateur racing.
1948, Boycott on BLACK MARKET went Once Round in 1.38. BLACK MARKET was the year’s best investment, collecting $16,250 for six wins.
He was always a steady and competent rider, and won many of the “plum” races such as Kwang Tung Handicap, or Stewards’ Cup.
1948-01-19, the inaugural P & O Cup race was won by Owner Lai Im Tong’s FIFTH ALARM with rider Mr Boycott.
1953, the Queen‘s Coronation Cup was won by Willie Stewart’s BEN LOMOND, ridden by Michael.
“They don’t run many Queen‘s Coronation Cups, so there’s not many riders to win them” he said.
Boycott happily seized the opportunity after taking careful consideration when he was offered work with the Jockey Club.
1968, he was appointed as Secretary of HKJC.
He took satisfaction in running the Shan Kwong stables the way he thought they should be run – on good old-fashioned, commonsense and practical lines that everybody understood, no matter trainer or mafoo.
1970’s, he envisioned the enormous success the new track would become once the decision had been taken to go ahead with the Sha Tin project.
He was appointed as Clerk of the Course, responsible for all stables administration, including security.
He proved a stern Clerk of the Course and he imposed discipline on track proceedings.
1980 June, Michael Boycott went into retirement to England with his daughter.
2004, he retired from HKJC Voting Member.
2008, he passed away in England.
Michael Boycott was very straight-forward, selfless, did the work with great efficiency.
His blue eyes sparkle with fond memories of his life-time in the Far East.
His career proves an old saying:
Acknowledgement to Mr Philip Johnston and Mr Noel McCaffrey for supplying and verifying data.