Tang Man-wa – jockey

Mr Nice Guy; Mr Kwang Tung





Tang Man-wa was a member of a wealthy and well-known local family, the Tang Yuan Cheong Tong.
They were among the big land and property owners.
His ancestors were indigenous residents of the New Territories.





Tang Man-wa studied at Queen‘s College before.
He was the third son, who should be the only one as a jockey, despite a possible source written in contrary.
All the three brothers were named with a HORSE key or radical by which a character is arranged in a traditional Chinese dictionary.
1931, his brother Tang Man-chuen was also recorded as an amateur rider.
He was in partnership with his brothers in the Wing Lee Company of Des Voeux Road, Central.
His eldest sister was married to Mr Ho Sai-man, the 5th son of Mr Ho Kam-tong.
His cousin, Tang Man-chiu, was a famous banker and influential publisher.





An English newspaper reported that Mr Tang Man-wa firstly donned local racing colors when he was about 10 years old.
He learned to ride in Hong Kong and had ridden at race meetings for about 15 years.
He graduated from the novice class some years before the Pacific War.
1942-04-25 and 26, Saturday and Sunday, a two-day programme of racing after Japanese occupation was presented.
He was among the jockeys performed during the Hong Kong Race Club administration.
Mr Tang was considered a fast improving jockey.
He was one of the keenest supporters of HKJC.


In a total of 20 rides, he had six wins, two seconds and one third.
He did fairly well, when he won two races on AIRFIELD, and two on TOOTSIE, and also won on GOLDEN DRAGON and NATIONAL CONGRESS.
1947-05-10_2, he rode TOOTSIE and won that novice race, while Kenneth Kwok rode GOLD WHEEL.
Many pre-war jockeys needed their post-war re-qualification as novices, after raced for the Hong Kong Race Club under Japanese occupation.
The winner was disqualified, however, because of the TOOTSIE’s boring.
1947-05-10_7, SUNSHINE the difficult waler was ridden by Kenneth Kwok reluctantly, and won, as nobody wanted the ride.
1947-05-26, Mr Tang rode NATIONAL CONGRESS on a very wet course to win and pay the highest dividend of that Whitsun Race Meeting.
1947-10-25, after Mr Tang was suspended for some months, he resumed riding again.
1947-11-23, Mr Tang landed a double in a roll of Race 1 and 2, on AIRFIELD and NATIONAL CONGRESS.


Mr Tang had ridden SUNSHINE previously, at the First Extra Meeting three weeks ago when he was fourth in the HungHom Bay Handicap.
Before that, SUNSHINE was the mount of Kenneth Kwok and young H W Mok.
Mr Tang rode at the Annual Race Meeting and won on CHESTERFIELD, BATTLEFIELD and GOLDEN DRAGON.
His record was 3 wins and 2 second-places.
1948-01-19_9 Maiden HV turf 0.5m170yd Griffin Set Race 18 CHESTERFIELD M W Tang 3.3 1.02.4
1948-01-20_7 Waler HV turf 6f Class C Hdcp 8 GOLDEN DRAGON M W Tang 1.9 1.20.0
1948-01-20_2 Maiden HV turf 1m Griffin Set Race 8 BATTLEFIELD M W Tang 23 1.53.6


1948-02-28_9 Ascot Handicap, (second section) for Australian ponies ‘B’ class 6 Furlong.
“SUNSHINE” such miserable accident happened, Mr Tang was only 40 years old.


He was also owner of the 1948 griffin FLYING DRAGON and other ponies.





According to Shum Kut Shing (Lo Kut) ‘s《30 Year In Racecourse》page 23:
“Mr Tang was a Mr Nice Guy, kind and friendly to others, always with a cheerful smiling face.
Mr Tang was a Mr Kwang Tung, a nickname popular inside the racecourse.
It was because his riding style,was quite similar to the one performing the clever Cantonese persona in the Cantonese opera of 《Mr Kwang Tung and the Shang Tung Robbers》.
I was very familiar with him, while writing this chapter, my brain is recalling his kind and smiling face.”





According to page 168 of《Pow Mah》(a book commissioned by RHKJC) the writter Henry Ching noted:-
“The following alphabetical list of occasional jockeys of 1931 will stir memories: Messrs Tang Man-chuen.”


1941-04-08 Hwa Shiang Pao was found and lead by Liao_Chengzhi, a politician of the Communist Party of China.
1941-12-12 Hwa Shiang Pao ceased to be published due to the outbroke of the Pacific War.
1946-01-04 Hwa Shiang Pao was published again, Tang Man-chiu, was the managing director of Hwa Shiang Pao, praised as the youngest banker, the Chinese manager of the P&0 Banking, and the Deputy Manager of the Belgian Bank.


《Mr Kwang Tung and the Shang Tung Robbers》 a famous dramatic theme depicted the legend between a clever Cantonese who casted his gold into a saddle as a measure against mounting bandits.





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Acknowledgment to Mr Lacuda Mengnah for the content and images.





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