In the early 20th Century, horses from Shanghai sometimes came down to challenge the honors of Hong Kong Stables. Men did that too.
Jockey Leo G Frost, who rode first in Tianjin, then Shanghai, also came down to Hong Kong and made vivid turf history here.
Legendary Record Breaker Of Pre-War China And Hong Kong Races
In those gentlemen riding days, every rider had a profession and Leo Frost was no exception.
JOCKEY CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
1920, Frost, an Australian, came to China to work for Jardine Matheson in Tianjin.
He impressed race-goers in the treaty port with his riding skills very soon as well as winning loyal fans in Shanghai.
1929, the racing public in Hong Kong had a memorable glimpse of Frost‘s aptitude as a jockey.
1930, Frost was posted to the head office of Jardine‘s in Hong Kong.
1930 – 1935, Leo Frost cut himself out as a brilliant champion jockey on this island, he had more than 220 wins.
1930 to 1933, Frost held the championship for four consecutive years.
1932, Frost became the jockey to the “BAY” stable under its American owner Lambert Dunbar.
1932-05-28 Leo Frost rode for famous owners Dunbar and Chan Tin-sion at the Seventh Extra Meeting, Leo Frost won the first, was unplaced in the second, then won the next six, for a day’s total of seven wins from 8 rides in 10 races.
Race and Winners- 1 POCAHONTAS; 3 WHITE JADE STAG; 4 LITTLE BEAVER; 5 WOODLAND STAG; 6 BAG AND BAGGAGE; 7 THE GADWALL; 8 THE GIRAFFE.
1933, in Hong Kong, Frost held 10 of the 18 course records – six on China ponies and four on Australian ponies.
1934, he left the Colony for a while.
1935, he returned to take the laurel again at the Valley.
1935 summer, Frost began training jockeys, resulting in a notable general rise in standards of Hong Kong racing..
193o era, our turf hero LIBERTY BAY, which belonged to the American owner Lambert Dunbar, has 26 consecutive wins marking the peak of Frost‘s career as a rider.
1937 and after, there was a saying that Frost did not ride in Hong Kong when he left to Canton for his new appointment of which his departure was a great loss to racing fans at the Valley.
1938-02-23 Champion Stakes, newspaper clip and photo wrongfully labelled Frost ridden the LIBERTY BAY first time defeat by a length, marking of the fall of Frost‘s career with lots of rumors and anecdotes. Actually, that jockey was Mitland.
1946, he returned to Hong Kong after served with the Australians in New Guinea during World War II, but did not resume serious riding.
Mr and Mrs Frost also participated in Kwanti and Macau races.
Baron von Delwig, a trainer in Tianjin, greatly admired Leo Frost‘s style of riding and commented: “Such was his elasticity of muscular movement he could ride a finish without disturbing the horse“.
Though no evidence can be extracted from horses, large and enthusiastic gathering at the racecourse can be imagined when Frost made to the starting line.
1984, Austin Coates, the author of ‘China Races’ a history of racing on the China Coast commissioned by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, dubbed Frost as the champion of champions at Happy Valley.
His wife Mrs Leo Frost, rode as well, in Macau.
960 meters = 1/2 mile 170 yards, 1207 meters = 6 Furlong, 1609 meters = 1 mile, 1766 meters = 1 mile 171 yards, 2012 meters = 1-1/4mile, 2816 meters = 1-3/4 miles.
1883 Garden Turn Village Bend Frost
Far right was the house marking the Garden, later the ‘Happy Retreat’ pleasure garden—which became the Yeung Wo Hospital. A racing distance noted by Governor Henry May as 1850-02-04 ‘from the Garden Turn once round and in’ and the landmark ad 1853-02-02 ‘at the Garden Turn’. The WongNeiChung Village was depicted with the Villge Bend on the left. The picture was taken about 1883. It was presented to the Jockey Club by the well-remembered jockey, who had a 26 winning spree on LIBERTY BAY and a 7-win day on 8 rides, Mr L. G. Frost.
Content and Image source: HKJC Racing Registry