A stellar line-up featuring some of the world’s greatest jockeys will contest the LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship (IJC) at Happy Valley Racecourse on Wednesday, 4 December.
Among the all-star cast is Frankie Dettori – riding in off perhaps the best season of his long and storied career – who is set to take his place in the IJC for the first time since he lifted the trophy back in 2011. The three-time competition winner will aim to cap a sensational year in glittering style at the iconic city venue: the Italian has won 19 G1 races already this season, including three atop Europe’s exceptional race mare Enable, and is in pole position to seal a third LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award.
The HK$800,000 LONGINES IJC is a four-race competition for 12 elite jockeys: eight overseas riders and four based in Hong Kong.
The exciting overseas line-up includes another all-time great, past IJC champion and two-time LONGINES World’s Best Jockey winner Ryan Moore, as well as last year’s IJC victor and former British champion Silvestre de Sousa. Joining the contest for the first time is the newly-crowned British champion Oisin Murphy, one of world racing’s most rapidly ascending stars.
New Zealand’s finest export James McDonald will represent Australia after achieving a third Sydney Premiership last term, the prolific Pierre-Charles Boudot will represent France, Ireland’s youthful past champion Colin Keane is set to return after a fine debut last year and Japan’s World All-Star Jockeys champion Yuga Kawada is booked to make his LONGINES IJC debut.
Hong Kong legends Joao Moreira and Zac Purton will add further lustre to the gilded cast list. Each is a three-time champion in the world’s most intensely competitive circuit and both will be chasing a second LONGINES IJC victory.
The third Hong Kong spot will go to Karis Teetan who sits a clear third in the Hong Kong Premiership at present – the Mauritian ace bagged a career-best 84 wins last season and has 18 so far this term.
The remaining berth will be decided after the Happy Valley race meeting on 20 November.
Vincent Ho (11 wins) and Derek Leung (six) are battling for the berth allotted to Hong Kong’s leading homegrown rider (graduates of the world-renowned Hong Kong Jockey Club Apprentice Jockeys’ School).
Mr. Andrew Harding, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director, Racing, said: “This year’s LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship has all the factors in place to be a classic edition. We have a fantastic line-up of gifted riders, champions of great merit and huge appeal, and Frankie Dettori’s return to the Valley off an incredible year of achievement with rare champions like Enable and Stradivarius adds even greater excitement to what is always a thrilling contest.
“The Hong Kong Jockey Club has succeeded again in putting together an outstanding cast of riders and we are looking forward to a great night of sport at what is not only the richest jockey challenge in the world but also the most spectacular.”
The LONGINES IJC is a four-race competition in which points will be awarded as follows in each race: 12 points for 1st, 6 points for 2nd and 4 points for 3rd. The ranking of each jockey will be determined by the total number of points earned over all four races and the IJC champion will be the jockey with the highest accumulated points.
In the case of a dead-heat for any of the first three placings, points will be added and then divided by the number of horses involved. In the LONGINES IJC, substitute jockeys are eligible for points and if a countback is required it will go back to 4th places. Homegrown jockeys with 2lb or 3lb claims are eligible for selection for the LONGINES IJC but there will be no claiming allowance in the four LONGINES IJC races. Apprentice jockeys do not qualify for selection.
The winner takes home a HK$500,000 cheque, second-place gets HK$200,000 and third-place takes HK$100,000, as well as race prize money earned on the night. The four LONGINES IJC races are worth a combined HK$6.58 million.
List of invited jockeys for 2019 LONGINES IJC
|Reigning IJC Champion||Silvestre de Sousa||2018 IJC winner and runner-up in 2017. Three-time champion jockey in Britain (2015, 2017 and 2018).|
|Hong Kong Champion Jockey||Zac Purton||2017 IJC winner. Three-time champion jockey in Hong Kong (2013/14, 2017/18 and 2018/19). Brisbane Champion Jockey (2003).|
|Italy||Frankie Dettori||Three-time IJC winner (1999, 2001 and 2011). 2015 and 2018 LONGINES World’s Best Jockey. Leads this year’s LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award standings. Three-time champion jockey in Britain (1994, 1995 and 2004). 19 G1 wins this year.|
|Australia||James McDonald||Three-time Sydney champion jockey (2013/14, 2015/16 and 2018/19). Two-time New Zealand champion jockey (2008/09 and 2010/11). Second in 2011 IJC and third in 2014.|
|Britain||Ryan Moore||Two-time winner of both the IJC (2009 and 2010) and LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award (2014 and 2016). Three-time British champion jockey (2006, 2008 and 2009)|
|Britain||Oisin Murphy||This year’s British champion jockey. British champion apprentice (2014).|
|France||Pierre-Charles Boudot||Two-time champion jockey in France (2015 and 2016). Third in the 2017 IJC.|
|Ireland||Colin Keane||Ireland’s champion jockey (2017). Ireland’s champion apprentice (2014). Second on his IJC debut in 2018.|
|Japan||Yuga Kawada||2019 World All-Star Jockeys champion. One of nine jockeys in JRA history to have won all five classic races. Competing in first IJC this year.|
|Hong Kong||Joao Moreira||Hong Kong premiership leader as of 18 November. Three-time Hong Kong champion jockey (2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17) and multiple record holder including most wins in a season (170). Winner of the 2012 IJC.|
|Hong Kong||Karis Teetan||Third-highest ranked Hong Kong jockey as of 18 November. South African champion apprentice in 2008.|
|Hong Kong||Leading local jockey||To be confirmed as of 20 November|