A stellar list of riders–including British representatives Ryan Moore, Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand–have been assembled for the 2023 Longines International Jockeys' Championship (IJC) at Happy Valley on December 6.
Moore is no stranger to the Longines IJC, having won the event twice, while fellow Englishman Marquand landed the prize 12 months ago. Meanwhile, Doyle knows the circuit in Hong Kong well and finished a joint second in the 2021 edition of the challenge.
Reigning Hong Kong Champion Jockey Zac Purton will chase a record fourth Longines IJC crown, having won the event in 2017, 2020 and 2021. He is a six-time Hong Kong Champion Jockey and currently leads this season's local standings with 26 wins (as of 11 November).
The exciting line-up also includes overseas riders with proven records in Hong Kong–Japan's Yuga Kawada and France's Mickael Barzalona.
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$7.5 million (approx. £780,000) in prize-money. Meanwhile, a total prize fund of HK$1,000,000 (approx. £105,000) in bonus money for the most successful riders will be split three ways, with the winner set to receive HK$600,000 and second and third HK$250,000 and HK$150,000 respectively.
Andrew Harding, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Executive Director, Racing, said, “The Longines International Jockeys' Championship is one of the most exciting and prestigious events in the international racing calendar, and this year is of no exception. We have a spectacular line-up, and in particular I am excited to welcome Bauyrzhan Murzabayev and Rachel King to participate in the event for the first time.”
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.