Buoyed by last week’s news of an extension to his first Hong Kong riding contract, Ben Thompson has no plans to return home any time soon and is eager to ride in the city for as long as possible.

The lightweight Australian rider was over the moon when the Jockey Club’s licensing committee extended his visiting jockey licence from April 5 to May 1.

While Thompson had to wait until his 49th ride for his first Hong Kong victory, the 27-year-old has learned plenty since starting his stint on February 18 and is loving life in the city.

“I was very excited,” Thompson said of last week’s announcement. “Before it came through, I was hoping it was a possibility to stay longer. I was asked about the likelihood of me staying beyond April and obviously it wasn’t even a question.

“My wife Stephanie, our little boy Harry and I have settled in really well and we’re really enjoying our time here, so I couldn’t be happier to be staying here longer.

“I’d love to stick around if possible. We’d love to stay here for as long as we can. I’ve been here for six weeks and it’s gone very quick, but I’m loving it.”

Courier Magic delivered Thompson his first Hong Kong triumph at Happy Valley in a victory the jockey hailed one of the most memorable moments of his career.

The Jamie Richards-trained gelding backed up the fast-finishing win to score again at the city circuit last Wednesday night.

“I’m very grateful to Jamie Richards and his connections,” Thompson said. “I owe him a bit – my first winner here and also my second. Hopefully we can keep working well together and there’s more to come.”

Thompson has six rides at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, with a familiar mount in Fashion Legend shaping as his best chance in the Class Three Kowloon City Handicap (1,200m).

Thompson guided the Deep Field gelding to back-to-back victories in Queensland in 2022, including the Group Three Vo Rogue Plate (1,350m) at Doomben, when he was trained by Richard and Will Freedman.

Since joining the Caspar Fownes stable, Fashion Legend has been building to peak form and produced his best run last start when fourth, beaten three-quarters of a length by Solid Impact at Sha Tin.

Jockey Ben Thompson, trainer Jamie Richards and connections of Courier Magic celebrate the gelding’s Happy Valley win.

“I’m really looking forward to riding him,” Thompson said. “I rode him three times in Australia for two wins and a second, with the second in Group Three grade [in the Winx Guineas last year].

“He seems to be really starting to settle in and hitting decent form, so it would be really special if he was able to break through at Hong Kong level, given he was a really good horse back home.”

Foremost Teddy, Comet Splendido, Diamond Soars, Ma Comet and Escape Route are Thompson’s other rides.

“I have Comet Splendido for Danny Shum [Chap-shing], who produced a really good run first up over the 1,400m,” Thompson said.

“He jumps to 1,600m and has a really good record at Happy Valley. Another one for Danny is Foremost Teddy, who was an improved run last time.

“It’s great to get a ride for John Size [on Escape Route]. He comes in well, down in the weights and not a bad draw out of five. He’s been racing well and it always fills you with a lot of confidence riding for John.”