Rising Ray; Dawning Era
1944-09-07, Kenny Kam Kwong-tat was born.
Kenny was the eldest son and the third child in a family of six.
His elder sister and a cousin considered his natural lightweight frame, urged him to take up riding.
Kenny too had the required measure of aggression and will to succeed which also fitted him for a life in the saddle.
To make a living, he got his first job given by his uncle as a camera repairman.
Kenny reflected that he was a bit wild on his schooldays.
He attended no fewer than fifteen different schools.
Kenny was eighteen and destined for an uncertain future.
He took to the saddle with an immediate sense of confidence and commitment that had hitherto so painfully eluded him as a school boy.
Mr Xavier, riding instructor at Shouson Hill Riding School succeeded more than Kenny’s other teachers.
Being encouaged, Kenny progressed rapidly during the mid sixties, riding regularly 3 to 4 times each week.
Kenny shifted to a more lucrative and suitable employment as a car salesman.
Kenny enrolled in a HKJC course at Beas River that taught race-riding and managed by Major Tony Grimshaw.
Kenny was given basic riding instructions by Major Grimshaw before Jimmy Lindley took over as his teacher.
“I also owe them plenty. Without their help I doubt if I would have succeeded,” Kenny said.
Kenny got his rider’s license.
Kenny was one of the many struggling novices and riding opportunities were few and far between.
Kenny got married with Frances, he said that his luck really changed after he got married and thanked his beautiful wife.
1971-03-27_1, class8, 6 f 40 yd, Novice Race with a field of 9, BON BON (trainer: D Belov) 16, placed 1st, as Kenny Kenny’s inaugural win.
1971-03-27, Kenny Kam rode home a double, on BON BON (D Belov) and EASTERN VENTURE(L T Lee).
A newspaper clipping commented that it was mainly through his father in-law, former amateur jockey Albert Lam Kwok-leung to get the winning ride on EASTERN VENTURE.
Considering his record of two wins, a second and a third in six rides on one day, he proved his talent.
Immediately, he became one of the most sought after novices in Hong Kong.
At 110 lb Kenny was ideal for the professional weights.
But he said that he did not think so, when asked if he would turn pro.
“Too much is expected from professionals. If he fails he gets all the blame and all the offers stop coming,” said the novice.
Kenny also said that since his winning double he had had several offers of new rides, but because of his rating could not accept all of them.
If his luck held, the talented novice could graduate quickly and became one of the most reliable winners in Happy Valley.
Kenny became a full-time professional jockey.
Riding mostly for George Moore and John Brown, Kenny’s winning opportunities were slim.
Yet Kenny did manage to keep his nose clean, just a very few times once being penalized or suspended but only for minor infringements.
1978-05-10_5, sand 1030m , Griffin Race with a field of 5, FREELOVE (trainer: H M Cheung) 11, placed 5th, as Kenny Kenny’s last ride.
Season —— Wins — Rides
1971-1972 —– 2 —– 29
1972-1973 —– 0 —– 26
1973-1974 —– 0 —– 35
1974-1975 —– 2 —– 52
1975-1976 —– 2 —– 50
1976-1977 —– 1 —– 23
1977-1978 —– 4 —– 72
7 seasons as jockey
11 winners in total
Before elected to become a jockey, Kenny had decided that it was but a stepping stone to a further career in racing.
At the end of 1986, trainer Kenny Kenny was licensed.
He started the path to became a trainer and practiced the skill under many masters locally or globally.
Acknowledgment to Mr Kenny Kam, Mr Leung Chun-sek, Mr Peter Yuen, Mr Thomas Chan, Mr Tony Ng and Mr Donald Tsai for relevant data.