Racing: Fall kills leading Hong Kong apprentice

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The Independent Online
THE LEADING Hong Kong apprentice jockey Wai "Willy" Kan, who rode in Britain last summer, died yesterday after a fall at Sha Tin. She was on Happy King, who stepped on another horse's heels on the turn.

Kan, 20, was trampled by other horses and lost consciousness. She was taken to the Prince of Wales Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery but died later.

Kan won an apprentice race at Haydock in July on the David Nicholls-trained Nervous Rex. Her mount crashed through the rail after the winning post that day, leaving Kan with concussion and an eye injury.

"She was a lovely girl," Nicholls recalled yesterday. "She would work from two in the morning until late at night."

Conditions were wet at Sha Tin and two other riders also suffered falls, with minor injuries for Eric St-Martin. The course has been the scene of several accidents. The Derby-winning rider Brian Taylor was killed in a fall in 1984, while Walter Swinburn sustained life-threatening injuries in a fall from Liffey River in 1996.