A New Star Light On The Sky Over The Bay


The Pony beaten the most famous of the China Ponies





SILKYLIGHT 絲光, a Shanghai horse whose owner bought him after finding him wandering injured after a Japanese bomb attack flattened the Shanghai stables.



The Rising Star Light


1938-02-21, SILKYLIGHT wins the Turf Classic 66th Derby

Owner: Cire
Rider: R B Moller
Distance: 1-1/2 miles


Mr. R B Moller rides Grand Race
Record Prizes In Cash Sweep
SILKYLIGHT ridden by Mr.R.B.Moller, won the Hong Kong Derby yesterday from the favourite. DESERT CHIEF, with Mr.C.Encarnacao on the saddle.


It was a thrilling race and the thousands of race fans who attended the second day of the Annual Race Carnival were unanimous that just to have seen the classic event was reward enough for the afternoon spent in the Race Course.


Record Prizes In Cash Sweep
As was generally expected, the holder of the winning ticket No.68172 received the record prize money of $141,380.05 while the second and third prizes amounted to $10.394.30 and $20.197.15 respectively.



The Immortal Battle



1938-02-23, SILKYLIGHT surpassed LIBERTY BAY which was defeated For First Time In Career


It caused the biggest racing sensation in Hong Kong racing history by beating the hitherto “unbeatable” LIBERTY BAY.


LIBERTY BAY forged ahead of the others in approaching the gate and was caught under the chin as the gate went up, lifting it up on its haunches.


The thousands of spectators watching the start of the Champions were given an early thrill


KING’S WARDEN immediately took the lead when the three horses were eventually started.


LIBERTY BAY, which secured a three lengths lead before rounding the first bend, overhauled KING’S WARDEN.


LIBERTY BAY maintained this lead and increased it to four lengths before reaching the Rock.


SILKYLIGHT, however broke away from KING’S WARDEN just before the last bend was reached, and on entering the straight.


SILKYLIGHT, ridden by Mr. Moller, brought through in a final burst about 200 yards from the Winning Post.


SILKYLIGHT‘s time was three-fifths of a second outside LIBERTY BAY‘s track record!


The result left little doubt as to which was the better pony.


SILKYLIGHT the winner of the 1938 Derby, won in the Champion Stakes, by a length, to record the coveted “Double” — the Derby and the Champion Stakes.






1938, after The Champion Stakes, there were lots of anecdotes about :


– a joke that LIBERTY BAY‘s jockey Hugh Mailand had gone to sleep.


– a rumor that Hugh Mailand was so arrogant and over-confident that cost him the race.


– a rumor that SILKYLIGHT‘s rider Mr. Moller played a successful tactic that tricked Mr Mailand to feel SILKYLIGHT could not match with in the straight.


SILKYLIGHT the winner of the 1938 Derby, won in the Champion Stakes, by a length, to record the coveted “Double”–the Derby and the Champion Stakes.


LIBERTY BAY‘s owner was so upset that it had finally been beaten in such ways so he never raced it again.



The Victory Prove


SILKYLIGHT and CONFUSION BAY, [instead of LIBERTY BAY which had been withdrawn from racing since the Champion Stakes], another duel would be witnessed over the 1-3/4 mile course.


Mr. Eric Moller, owner of SILKYLIGHT and one of Shanghai‘s most successful stables, would be in Hong Kong for the meeting to witness the main event of the day.


His son Mr. R B Moller, who rode SILKYLIGHT with such outstanding success at the Annual Meeting would also be presented and would get the mount on the brown stallion.


SILKYLIGHT had won the ‘triple crown’.


He went on to a notable future.


1938-11-19 SILKYLIGHT won the Hongkong St. Leger in a record 3 minutes 29 and three-fifths seconds.


It was the fastest ever by a China pony since racing was inaugurated, three seconds faster than LIBERTY BAY’s record of 1932.


1938-12-17 SILKYLIGHT won the Autumn Champions in record time, by many lengths, beating LIBERTY BAY’s 1933 record by over two seconds.





SILKYLIGHT might not be the strongest horse or Chinese Pony in history, but it just marked its legend at the right time, in the right race with the right contender.





The St. Leger Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain which is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run at Doncaster over a distance of 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards (2,937 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in September.
Established in 1776, the St. Leger is the oldest of Britain’s five Classics. It is the last of the five to be run each year, and it is raced over a longer distance than any of the previous four.


As the racing distance has been shorten, there is no more similar race in Hong Kong.


SILKYLIGHT had a Chinese name interpreted easily but refused to be called by Cantonese punters due to the pronunciations are similar to ‘ALL LOST’










DIANA BAY 1930-1938




1938-02-23 Champions Stakes SILKYLIGHT vs LIBERTY BAY








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