Hong Kong: LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship
The world’s best jockeys will compete for the LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley Racecourse on Wednesday, 6 December.
A HK$800,000 prize fund makes the annual four-race showcase at Hong Kong’s iconic city track the richest jockey challenge in the world.
Four Hong Kong-based riders and eight of the very best of their overseas counterparts will form a brilliant line-up, with each rider competing for the HK$500,000 winner’s prize. HK$200,000 will go to the runner-up and HK$100,000 to the third-placed jockey.
Joao Moreira, Hong Kong’s record-breaking champion jockey, won the LONGINES IJC in 2012. This time around, the Brazilian sensation will face one of the best line-ups ever assembled, with last year’s victor Hugh Bowman and two-time IJC champ Ryan Moore in opposition. Those two prolific G1-winning riders are currently vying for the LONGINES World’s Best Jockey title.
This year’s overseas contingent also features some of the sport’s most exciting emerging talents. Brazil’s sensation Leandro Henrique, already a champion in Rio de Janeiro, will make his first trip to Hong Kong, as will California-based ace Flavien Prat, representing the USA. France’s challenger is Pierre-Charles Boudot, who won the French title last year with a European record 300 wins, while Cristian Demuro will attempt to claim the title for Italy.
Two experienced and outstanding champions complete the line-up. Another Brazilian, Silvestre de Sousa, ran away with his second UK championship recently, while Japan’s Keita Tosaki has won the JRA title for the last three years in succession.
Andrew Harding, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director, Racing Authority, said: “The LONGINES IJC is not only the richest jockey challenge in the world but also the most exciting. Every December, the Hong Kong Jockey Club attracts outstanding jockeys to Happy Valley’s iconic floodlit circuit for a thrilling night of great sport. This year’s event will pitch the world’s very best established riders against some of the most talented rising stars from across the globe.”
Four Hong Kong riders will be in the line-up. With Moreira guaranteed a spot as reigning domestic champion, two places will go to the next two highest-ranked riders in the Hong Kong championship, as well as the leading homegrown rider (a graduate of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Apprentice Jockeys’ School) at the cut-off date following the race meeting on Wednesday, 22 November.
Moreira leads the Hong Kong premiership by three wins from former champion Zac Purton, who is in turn seven ahead of third-placed Karis Teetan.
A battle is underway for the homegrown spot with Derek Leung on 11 wins and Keith Yeung close behind on nine wins for the term so far.
The 2017 LONGINES IJC is a four-race competition in which the following points will be given to each jockey according to the placing of his mount, and the ranking of each jockey will be determined by the total number of points earned in the four races:
12 points for 1st; 6 points for 2nd; 4 points for 3rd.
In the case of dead-heats for any of the first three placings, points will be added and then divided by the number of horses involved. The appropriate points will then be awarded to the relevant jockey. The count-back will be to 4th place.
In the LONGINES IJC competition, substitute jockeys are eligible for points
The IJC champion will be the jockey with the highest accumulated points.
(*Local jockeys with 2 or 3lb claims are eligible for selection for the LONGINES IJC. There will be no claiming allowance in the four LONGINES IJC races.)
List of invited jockeys for 2017 LONGINES IJC
|2016 IFHA LONGINES World’s Best Jockey||Ryan Moore||Two-time winner of both the IJC and World’s Best Jockey Award. Three-time UK champion jockey and has 109 G1 wins to his name.|
|IJC Defending Champion||Hugh Bowman||Last year’s LONGINES IJC champion. Leads the LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award standings and recently won a third Cox Plate aboard Winx.|
|Brazil||Leandro Henrique||Champion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and currently leads the title race at Gavea Racecourse.|
|France||Pierre-Charles Boudot||France’s champion jockey last year with a European record 300 wins.|
|Hong Kong||Joao Moreira||Reigning Hong Kong Champion Jockey; IJC winner in 2012.|
|Italy||Cristian Demuro||Two-time Italian champion jockey and holds the record for most wins in an Italian season (264).|
|Japan||Keita Tosaki||Third in the last two IJCs. Three-time JRA champion jockey and has more than 3,100 career wins.|
|UK||Silvestre de Sousa||Two-time and current UK champion jockey, and won the Dubai World Cup in 2014.|
|USA||Flavien Prat||U.S.-based Frenchman, a two-time Breeders’ Cup winner, who in September won three G1s in one day.|
|Hong Kong||Highest ranked jockey (1)||As at 22 November|
|Hong Kong||Highest ranked jockey (2)||As at 22 November|
|Hong Kong||Leading local jockey||As at 22 November|