A stellar line-up featuring established greats and riders in scintillating form will contest the 2022 LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship (IJC) at Happy Valley Racecourse on Wednesday, 7 December, 2022.

This LONGINES IJC will also be the first time that the two leading female jockeys in the world ride on the same card – Australia’s Jamie Kah who makes her debut, while Great Britain’s Hollie Doyle returns for a third time. 

Kah, 26, is the most successful female jockey in Australian racing history with eight Group 1 wins and over 1,100 wins overall. In 2020/21, the record-breaking Kah became the first jockey to ride 100 winners in a single Victorian metropolitan racing season, eclipsing the previous record held by Brett Prebble.

Doyle, 26, has been in tremendous form this year and returns to Hong Kong after finishing joint-second in the 2021 LONGINES IJC. Across 2022, she formed a strong alliance with Nashwa and has since added a pair of Group 1 wins aboard the crack filly.  

James McDonald has already compiled a record worthy of discussion as an all-time great and he’s continued to excel this year with over 14 Group 1 wins, including a recent G1 W.S Cox Plate (2040m) triumph with Anamoe. This will be his seventh appearance in the LONGINES IJC having previously finished second twice and third once. McDonald currently leads the race for the 2022 LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award.

The exciting line-up also includes two previous winners of the world’s most coveted jockey challenge crown – LONGINES IJC – in Zac Purton and Ryan Moore.

Purton will chase a record a fourth LONGINES IJC crown having won the event in 2017, 2020 and 2021. He is a five-time Hong Kong Champion Jockey and currently leads this season’s local standings with 40 wins (as of 12 November).

Moore is no stranger to the LONGINES IJC, winning the event twice and this year he will ready for his 16th appearance. Last year’s LONGINES World’s Best Jockey recipient, Moore will have another opportunity to add further gloss to an already incredible record in the saddle at Happy Valley next month.

Tom Marquand will join the contest for the third time as one of world racing’s most rapidly ascending stars. Marquand’s second taste of the LONGINES IJC saw him finish joint-second with one victory aboard Awesome Treasure.

Australian talent Jye McNeil will make his LONGINES IJC debut. The 27-year-old rider made his name when partnering Twilight Payment to win the 2020 G1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) for trainer Joseph O’Brien. Through last season, McNeil was also crowned Melbourne Champion Jockey as the leading rider on Victorian metropolitan racecourses. He also claimed the Scobie Breasley Medal for riding excellence in the Australian state.

Mickael Barzalona, representing France, will make his fifth LONGINES IJC appearance this year after finishing joint second with Hollie Doyle, Tom Marquand and James McDonald in 2021. Through 2022, the Frenchman added a trio of Group 1s to his record.

Yuga Kawada will be hoping it’s a third-time lucky as he makes his third LONGINES IJC appearance. Kawada is a five-time JRA Award winner for the jockey with the highest winning percentage in Japan. His career highlights include a G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) success with Japan’s globetrotting sensation – Loves Only You.

The final three spots on the 12-rider roster for the LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship will go to the leading homegrown rider and the highest-ranked riders in the Hong Kong championship standings at the cut-off date, which follows the race meeting on Wednesday, 23 November 2022.  

The LONGINES IJC is the most prestigious jockey challenge in the world and the most lucrative for the winning rider. The four races are worth a combined HK$6.942 million in prize money. Meanwhile, a total prize fund of HK$800,000 in bonus money for the most successful riders will be split three ways, with the winner set to receive HK$500,000 and second and third HK$200,000 and HK$100,000 respectively.  

Mr Andrew Harding, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director, Racing, said: “The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races and LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship are the flagship events of Hong Kong racing recognised globally for their outstanding quality. They are symbols of Hong Kong’s world-class racing and represent the city’s most prestigious international event.   

“This year’s LONGINES IJC has all the ingredients to provide another memorable edition. We have a fantastic line-up of accomplished riders, many of whom are in career-best form, including Ryan Moore and James McDonald. Added to that is the excitement both Jamie Kah and Hollie Doyle will bring.

“We are delighted to have assembled an outstanding cast of riders and we are looking forward to a great night of sport set against the backdrop of one of the most iconic racecourses in the world,” Mr Harding said.

In addition, trainers will again have an added incentive to target their horses at LONGINES IJC races this year thanks to a bonus scheme which will pay HK$200,000, HK$100,000 and HK$50,000 respectively to the three handlers who achieve the highest number of points across the four races, using the same scale as employed for the jockeys.   

The four-race competition works on a points-based system with 12 points for the win, six points for second place and four points to third. The ranking of each jockey will be determined by the total number of points earned over all four races and the LONGINES 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 fourth place. 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.

This year’s edition will again feature the process successfully employed in recent years of allocating rides with a model designed to make the contest competitive and to reduce the risk of individual riders being dealt a particularly strong or weak hand.

The minimum riding weight for LONGINES IJC races is 118lb. If there are more than 12 entries for a race, the Club’s Handicapping Department will use their discretion to give preference to horses who have shown reasonable recent form. This will form the basis for a process in which each rider will be allocated four rides based on an estimated average of each horse’s chance as supplied by the Club’s Jockey Challenge odds-compiling team.

The odds-compiling team will assess the credentials of every runner in advance and, without knowing who will ride each horse, will submit their final assessments once the barrier draw is made on the morning of Monday, 5 December. 


courtesy of www.hkjc.com