Racing: NZ family rally to support popular Malaysian jockey Yong Chew through cancer battle

Promising apprentice jockey Yong Chew is battling for his life, after recently discovering he has throat cancer. 

The Malaysian is isolated from his family due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the NZ racing industry is rallying together to help with his treatment and support his family back home.

Chew was making a name for himself, but in April, friends started to realise something was up. 

"You know, some scratches from the track, when the sand kicks back, and it doesn't heal up," says fellow jockey Kin Kwo. "It was funny and then two months later, something popped up.

"He go check, but it was too late."

Cancer was discovered in Chew's throat and since April, he's taken a turn for the worse.

"He's putting up a good fight and he's doing well," says trainer Lance Robinson. "I only saw him yesterday, and he's got his chin up and he's doing his best."

Chew was an apprentice jockey for Robinson, but for the last three months, he and his family have become caregivers for the 25-year-old.   

"It's hard to deal with, and it's been tough on me and my family," says Robinson. "We're dealing with it."

Chew's isolation from family is taking its toll on everyone. 

"We are very close and anyone hurts when someone's crook at that age," says jockey Terry Moseley.

"The government over there doesn't support this kind of thing and he have to pay for himself, so it's a bit hard," says Kwo.

But they're coming together for their mate. Go Racing's Matt Allnutt is organising a golf tournament and auction to raise some much needed money.  

"Helping him get through what he's going through at the moment and come out the other side, that's gotta be the first thing we think about," says Alnutt.

"Outside of that, we'd like to help his family."

Chew's racing family in New Zealand are determined to help with his fight.