Aaron Gryder, who has been based in California for several years, has opted to ride in Hong Kong beginning Nov. 14, the jockey announced Nov. 10.
Hong Kong Jockey Club officials watched Gryder compete at Happy Valley and Sha Tin for two weeks in June and invited him to ride in Hong Kong. In March, Gryder rode Well Armed to victory in the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Jockeys in Hong Kong ride under contract.
“I am very excited and honored that I have been invited to ride for the Hong Kong Jockey Club,” Gryder, 39, said in a statement. “It’s a big move—California is my home and my children Grace (age 7) and Christian (9), will be here—but I still have so much passion for the game and a desire to win at the highest level.
“Racing in Hong Kong will give me a chance to ride many more great horses. The Hong Kong Jockey Club has high standards, and I’m thankful to them for affording me this wonderful opportunity.”
Gryder began his career in 1987 and won his first race Jan. 18 that year aboard Ragen Henry at Agua Caliente in Tijuana Mexico. He was the leading rider at Hollywood Park as an apprentice in 1987, and has won numerous riding titles at race tracks across the United States.
Gryder returned to California to ride full time in 2006.
“Aaron Gryder has demonstrated consistent success in New York, California, and Chicago for many years,” HKJC executive director Bill Nader said. “This year, he stepped up and won the Dubai World Cup, and he has always handled himself as a true professional. It will be great to have an American presence among a strong group of local and international jockeys riding in Hong Kong.”