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Star jockeys heading to Hong Kong for lucrative LONGINES IJC

15/11/2012

An ensemble of exceptional talent will compete in the 2012 edition of the LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley on Wednesday 5 December. World stars and emerging heroes comprise the 12 jokceys who will compete for increased prize money this year of HK$800,000.

This year’s contest, sponsored for the first time by LONGINES, will also see prize money awarded to the top three jockeys, as opposed to the leading two as in previous years. The winner will take home HK$500,000, the second-placed jockey HK$200,000 and the third rider HK$100,000.

The invited jockeys include French star Olivier Peslier, fresh from a fourth Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe win on Solemia; the great Frankel’s ever-present partner Tom Queally; Singapore’s winning machine Joao “Magic” Moreira; and the 2011 runner-up, the young Kiwi sensation James McDonald.

“The 2012 LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship has a great line-up of global talent, one that befits a world-renowned contest which now offers HK$500,000 more in overall prize money than it did 12 months ago,” said William A Nader, HKJC’s Executive Director of Racing. “This event is one of the most exciting in the Hong Kong racing calendar and an important event on the international stage – one in which the world’s elite jockeys test their skills and their mettle in a unique battle for supremacy around the iconic Happy Valley Racecourse.”

Representing eight countries or regions, the invited jockeys include four past winners of the LONGINES IJC – Douglas Whyte (2002, 2007, 2008), Olivier Peslier (1998, 2006), Ryan Moore (2009 dead-heat, 2010) and Christophe Lemaire (2009 dead-heat).

Peslier has been champion jockey in France on four occasions. The Frenchman’s Arc victory in October is the latest in a string of G1 triumphs that stretches across the globe over three decades and includes a remarkfable three consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile wins on the great mare Goldikova. Compatriot Lemaire too has won a host of the world’s top G1 races including last year’s Melbourne Cup.

Moore has clinched the UK champion jockey title three times. His Hong Kong wins include the G1 AP QEII Cup on Presvis and the G1 HK Cup on Snow Fairy, and he recently landed the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on George Vancouver. Meanwhile, compatriot William Buick is one of the world’s best young jockeys and heads to Happy Valley with eight G1 wins on the board in 2012.

Queally’s name in legend is assured as the rider of one of the sport’s all-time greats, Frankel. But the rider is a talent in his own right as attested to by his tally of 23 G1 wins since he broke his top level duck four seasons ago.

Add seasoned elite campaigners Craig Williams from Australia and Yuichi Fukunaga from Japan alongside Moreira, who has notched almost 200 wins in Singapore this season as he heads to a third straight championship, and the contest is primed to be a classic.

Of course, the competition is not complete without the home jockeys, headed by Whyte, Hong Kong’s very own uninterrupted 12-time champion jockey and record three-time IJC winner. The last two places will be filled by the current season’s leading Hong Kong jockey (other than Whyte) and the leading Hong Kong local jockey* according to the standings on 22 November. 

List of invited jockeys for LONGINES IJC 2012

Country/Region

Jockey

Remarks

Australia

Craig Williams

Winning jockey of 2012 Caulfield Cup

France

Christophe Lemaire

Rode six G1 winners in 2012

France

Olivier Peslier

Four-time champion jockey in France; winning jockey of 2012 Arc

Ireland

Tom Queally

Partner jockey to world champion horse Frankel

Japan

Yuichi Fukunaga

Winning jockey of 2012 Yasuda Kinen

New Zealand

James McDonald

Set NZ record for wins in 2011 season; impressive 2nd on his IJC debut last year

Singapore

Joao Moreira

Twice Champion Jockey in Singapore

UK

William Buick

Winning jockey of 2012 Eclipse Stakes and Irish Oaks

UK

Ryan Moore

Three-time UK champion and twice IJC winner

Hong Kong

Douglas Whyte

12-time Champion Jockey in HK; three-time IJC winner

Hong Kong

Leading jockey

As at 22 November

Hong Kong

Leading local jockey

As at 22 November

The 2012 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.

After the opening of wagering in the Jockey Challenge, no substitute rides are eligible for points. In the LONGINES IJC competition, however, substitute jockeys are eligible for points and related prize money.

The IJC champion will be the jockey with the highest accumulated points.

This year there is a 20% increase in prize money for the four IJC races for the horses’ connections.

(*Local jockeys with 2 or 3 lb claims are eligible for selection for the LONGINES IJC. There will be no claiming allowance in the four LONGINES IJC races.)

Craig Williams
Photo 1:
Craig Williams

Christophe Lemaire
Photo 2:
Christophe Lemaire

Olivier Peslier
Photo 3:
Olivier Peslier

Tom Queally
Photo 4:
Tom Queally

Yuichi Fukunaga
Photo 5:
Yuichi Fukunaga

James McDonald
Photo 6:
James McDonald

Joao Moreira
Photo 7:
Joao Moreira

William Buick
Photo 8:
William Buick

Ryan Moore
Photo 9:
Ryan Moore

Douglas Whyte
Photo 10:
Douglas Whyte

 

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