Weird Character; Wacky Performer
HSBC taipans or even officers appeared among the owners in a period of which no record remains.
The stable has always borne the Bank’s Chinese name (WayFoong) and used the Bank’s colors (Red with white hoops), in persistence.
Racing name of Mr Wayfoong’s results were never very spectacular.
According to page 274 of《China Races》, the author Austin Coates said that:
“Their best pony was WAYWORTH“
But he was not spectacular as a runner, perhaps, might be in terms of running legendary anecdotes.
1615, WAYWORTH firstly appeared in The Place-Names of the North Riding of Yorkshire.
WAYWORTH by KENILCOST (Sire) — MERRY MAY (Dam) from Australia.
1941 Subscription Pony, Bay, 14.2 hands. K113 or AL113.
In his first career year, WAYWORTH ran in race-index 12, 25, 30, 41, 98, 109.
As Ronald Wood of the Public Works Department — one of the very few Hongkong government servants to race — related:
“Probably the best pony I rode — certainly the one I liked best — was WAYWORTH, the Wayfoong pony of 1940, a big, dark, bay Australian pony.
He had, however, one bad fault.
He was frightened of the starting gate.
The first time I rode him, at the Annual Meeting, he just stood still and let the rest of the field get away”.
Annual Race Meeting, the 3rd Day, they tried WAYWORTH again in Race 1 and then in Race 6 another time.
“Another rider had a go on him with the same result; and then Donald Black, the champion jockey, tried.
Again the same thing happened, and directly in front of the grandstand.
Never in the races had a champion jockey suffered such a loss of face.
‘What that bloody pony needs is a bullet,’ said a seethingly angry rider to Max Haymes, the pony’s trainer, as he got the wretched animal back to the stable.”
According to page 275 of《China Races》written by Austin Coates:
“The climax to the misdemeanors of WAYWORTH came in a 1 1/4 mile race when he whipped round as the gate went up, and started off in the wrong direction.
Ronald Wood was riding him.
WAYWORTH, needless to say, was on the rail.
Within seconds it was clear that nothing could hold him and there was going to be a head-on disaster with the oncoming field.
With the marvellous speed of judgment and great courage, a group of Chinese syces dashed out on the other side of the course and formed a line, forcing the pony to swerve to the outside.
The syces then ducked under the rail, and a few seconds later the field passed.
It was potentially one of the most dangerous incidents ever witnessed at Happy Valley.”
“It was a nasty few minutes,” said Ronald Wood.
“A few meetings after that, I rode him again in a race with a very big field, and we were drawn in the second row, as there were too many ponies for the course.
Although we were on the rails, I did not think much of our chances; but as it happened, the two ponies in front of us went off like rockets, WAYWORTH never saw the gate, and followed them.
The result was that for the first time in his career we had a perfect position and won easily.”
1941, WAYWORTH Racing record:
1941-02-17_12 Wood Ronald WAYWORTH Haymes M WayFoong 1m Aus Valley Stakes (24 starters, 24th placed)
1941-02-24_01 Wood Ronald WAYWORTH Haymes M WayFoong 1.25m Albury Stakes (16 starters, 16th placed)
1941-02-24_06 Black D WAYWORTH Haymes M Wayfoong 1m171yd Royal Navy Cup (15 starters, 15th placed)
1941-02-25_05 Feilden WAYWORTH Haymes M Wayfoong 2m Warrego Plate (10 starters, 10th placed)
1941-04-14_11 Wood Ronald WAYWORTH Haymes M WayFoong 1m171yd Coolgardie Stakes (12 starters, First)
1941-04-26_10 Wood Ronald WAYWORTH Haymes M WayFoong 1.25m Broken Hill Hdcp (15 starters, 15th placed)
The detail data might have a few differences to the description of climax to the WAYWORTH misdemeanors.
1942-1945 a booklet of《Horse & Pony Names List》was believed to be proposed and written by Mr Shen Kut-shing (Lo Kut).
English names were renamed or translated to Chinese, then approved officially and used unanimously for the first time in history.
WAYWORTH was renamed as ‘WING SING’ meaning ‘FOREVER WIN’ during the Japanese occupied period.
So far, there has been no entry or starting record with those names under the Hong Kong Race Club or and Hong Kong Jockey Club races in a few years thereafter.
960 meters = 1/2 mile 170 yards; 1207 meters = 6 Furlong; 1609 meters = 1 mile; 1766 meters = 1 mile 171 yards; 2012 meters = 1-1/4miles; 2816 meters = 1-3/4 miles.
Acknowledgment to Mr Lacuda Mengnah; Mr Peter Yuen; and Mr Donald Tsai; HKJC Archives; Hong Kong Racing Museum for relevant content.