Happy Valley

'Ho'-megrown Success In the Longines IJC

Jockey Vincent Ho made history Wednesday night at iconic Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island, becoming the first 'homegrown' rider to take out the prestigious Longines International Jockeys' Championship. With a narrow victory over Zac Purton in the fourth and final leg of the series, Ho amassed a total of 20 points to Purton's 18, with Australia's Rachel King and the locally based South African Lyle Hewitson on 16 points. King was declared outright third, with her victory in the first leg of the competition and an additional third-place...

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'It Could All Happen Again': Marquand A Live Chance In IJC Title Defence

The Longines International Jockeys' Championship (IJC) is the premier event of its kind in the world, and with good reason, as it brings together 12 of the most-accomplished riders from all corners of the globe vying for the winner's share of the HK$800,000 (£81,120/$102,320) prizemoney on offer. The IJC, the true start of Longines Hong Kong International Races festivities, takes place annually at iconic Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island, its tight turns and unique configuration offering up additional challenges, especially for jockeys based outside of Hong Kong. Britain's...

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De Sousa, Marquand Share Longines IJC Title

Coronavirus dictated that it wasn't exactly business at usual at Happy Valley Racecourse for the staging of Wednesday's Longines International Jockeys' Championship. But there was a return to at least some semblance of normalcy, as a crowd of about 11,000 fans filed into the stands and into the beer garden to watch Silvestre de Sousa finish level with Tom Marquand to cause a dead heat for just the third time in the history of the event. The duo shared HK$700,000 (£73,544) in prize money. COVID-19 had already resulted original IJC...

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Doyle Gets All-Clear For Third Go at Longines IJC

Hollie Doyle may be the roughest chance in the field of 12 for Wednesday evening's Longines International Jockeys' Championship (IJC) at Hong Kong iconic 'city track' at Happy Valley Racecourse, but she'd be considering herself fortunate to take her chances at all. The 26-year-old, who returned an 'indifferent' COVID test upon her arrival from Japan, was given the green light to compete Tuesday after the chief medical officer for the Hong Kong Jockey Club confirmed that the original result was a 're-positive' case, per a release. "After careful clinical and...

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Two-Time Goffs Grad Impresses on Happy Valley Debut

Owner Edmond Yue Kwok-yin splashed out HK$7 million on the advice of trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing for a 3-year-old son of Starspangledbanner (Aus) at the Hong Kong International Sale, and the gelding made a small, but not insignificant first return on that investment with a handy career debut Wednesday evening at Happy Valley Racecourse. Nordic Dragon (Ire) had made a favourable impression in a pair of barrier trials, winning one such event going 1200-metres around the city circuit Oct. 14 (video) and another when switched to the dirt track at...

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Doyle, Kah Among Headline Acts For Longines IJC

Nine of the finest jockeys representing six of the world's most important racing jurisdictions will take part in the Longines International Jockeys' Championship (IJC) to be held at iconic Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island Wednesday, Dec. 7. Making her third appearance in the IJC, having finished second in last year's event, is England's Hollie Doyle, who set a new record for wins by a female jockey in a British calendar year in last term. The 26-year-old has put together another fine season in 2022 and earned her first...

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Euros Win Three, But Purton Defends Title In Longines IJC

European-based jockeys managed victories in three of the four races comprising Wednesday's Longines International Jockeys' Championship at Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island, but consistency was rewarded when Zac Purton--out of luck on the evening--had the last laugh, placing in all four legs to take home the HK$500,000 (£48,558/€56,739) first prize. Currently atop the jockeys' premiership in Hong Kong, Purton was winning the IJC for a third time in five years, having taken it in 2017 and again 12 months ago. He joins Frankie Dettori and Douglas Whyte as...

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Moore, McDonald Lead International Cast For Longines IJC

Eight high-profile overseas jockeys will join four Hong Kong-based riders to compete for the HK$500,000 top prize in the Longines International Jockeys' Championship to be held at the iconic Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island Wednesday, Dec. 8. Ryan Moore is set to jet in to make a 15th appearance at the IJC, having dead-heated for the spoils with John Murtagh and Christophe Lemaire in 2009 before winning the title outright 12 months hence. Moore, who has finished on the podium four times since his most recent victory, currently...

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Record-Breaking Season Concludes in Hong Kong

The 2020/2021 racing season in Hong Kong concluded July 14, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club reporting turnover in excess of HK$130 billion (£12.1b/€14.2b/US$16.7b) for the first time. A total of 88 meetings--one more than last season--were conducted between September and July, with no programs lost to the coronavirus. The HKJC staged 835 races at Sha Tin and Happy Valley Racecourses, and took 206 races from overseas for simulcasting purposes. Total turnover was HK$136 billion, representing a 12.1% increase over last season. The HKJC is the single largest taxpayer in...

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Magical 1000 Wins For Moreira

Hong Kong champion jockey Joao 'Magic Man' Moreira became only the third jockey in Hong Kong history to ride 1,000 winners on the island. The Brazilian was successful aboard Incanto Prepared (NZ) (Per Incanto) in the Class 4 Uranus H. over 1650 metres at Happy Valley on Wednesday. He joins 13-time champion Douglas Whyte (1813) and fellow champion Zac Purton (1209) in this elite millennial club. "I can only describe it as a dream come true because I never dreamed that, to be honest, and I would never think that...

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TDN Q & A: HKJC Chief Racecaller Mark McNamara

Having broken into the racecalling business nearly a quarter-century ago, Mark McNamara has worked his way up from describing the action at Moruya in southeastern New South Wales in Australia to becoming one of the primary voices of New Zealand racing from 2009 to 2019. McNamara, now in his early 40s, returned for a short time to Australia, but the job of chief commentator for the Hong Kong Jockey Club came open in late 2019 when Brett Davis announced that he would be returning to Adelaide to take a similar...

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Longines IJC Gets HKIR Week Rolling

The Longines International Jockeys' Championship, set for Wednesday evening at iconic Happy Valley Racecourse, marks the true start of Hong Kong International Races week, as 12 of the world's top jockey's compete for the HK$500,000 winner's share of the HK$800,000 on offer. Though the crowds won't be there, owing to an uptick in the number of COVID cases over the last few weeks, six locally based riders will face a half-dozen of their peers that have jetted in from Europe, with a revised format in the distribution of mounts that...

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