Longines Hong Kong International Races

HKJC To Offer Record Prize-Money For New Season

Record total prize-money and incentives of HK$1.62 billion, approximately £158.6 million, will be offered across the 2022/23 season, the Hong Kong Jockey Club announced on Wednesday. Overall purses will be bolstered by a record single-season increase of 11.5% (HK$167.2 million) and there are also increases in prize-money across middle-distance races and a new bonus system. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, chief executive officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said, "The last two and a half years have been among the most challenging times in Hong Kong racing history. Despite this, we have...

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Loves Only You Goes Out a Winner at Tragedy-Marred HKIR

by Alan Carasso Making the final appearance of her illustrious career, Japan's Loves Only You (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) displayed the same refuse-to-lose attitude that carried her to a history-making success in last month's GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in Sunday's G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup, at HK$30 million the richest of the four events that make up the 'Turf World Championships'--the Longines Hong Kong International Races. Glory Vase (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), one of three Japanese winners in 2019, took...

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Plenty To Play For at Longines HKIR

by Alan Carasso The Longines Hong Kong International Races meeting Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse has had much to overcome over the last few years. In 2019, massive social unrest--including a cluster at the Chinese University of Hong Kong a stone's throw from the track--left some doubt as to whether the event would go forward at all. At the end of the day, not only did it proceed, but it was supported to the tune of record turnover of HK$1.71 billion. Twelve months ago, in the midst of a pandemic...

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Favourites Handed Low-Stress Draws for Longines HKIR

A total of 43 horses representing Hong Kong, England, Ireland, France and Japan were entered for Sunday's HK$100 million Longines Hong Kong International Meeting at Sha Tin Racecourse, and the luck of the barrier draw--held Thursday morning in the parade ride at the track--was much in favour of the horses that are anticipated to be at the head of the markets in the four events. For a horse like reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro), who likes to get back and then put his...

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Badel Flying High As HKIR Week Looms

Frenchman Alexis Badel rode his first race in Hong Kong on a two-month contract on Longines Hong Kong International Races day Dec. 11, 2016 and earned his first local victory a little more than two weeks later, guiding Supreme Profit (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}) to a 24-1 upset of a 2000-metre Class 2 at Sha Tin for trainer Danny Shum, one of seven wins during that stint. Five years later, the former French champion apprentice will ride for much bigger stakes, with mounts in three of the four races...

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Nearly 60 Top-Level Winners Entered for Longines HKIR

With a record HK$100 million available across the four tests that comprise the Longines Hong Kong International Races, some 135 horses from all corners of the globe--including a whopping 57 that have already struck at Group 1/Grade I level--have been entered for the 'Turf World Championships,' to be held Sunday, Dec. 12 at Sha Tin Racecourse. Despite the ongoing complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic--the staging of the Longines HKIR is officially subject to the approval of the HKSAR Government--fully 90 entries were received from the connections of overseas runners,...

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German Target Possible For Pyledriver

Group 1 winner Pyledriver (GB) (Harbour Watch {Ire}), who won June's G1 Coronation Cup, is under consideration for the Nov. 7 Grosser Preis von Bayern at Munich, according to co-trainer William Muir. The 4-year-old entire has been out of action since a minor setback ended planned starts in the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. at Ascot and in York's G1 Juddmonte International S. "I'll let him tell me when he's ready," said Muir, who trains with Chris Grassick. "After York I said I wouldn't set more targets...

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Targets Aplenty For Lady Bowthorpe

Fresh and well after her maiden Group 1 victory in the Nassau S. at the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Thursday, William Jarvis trainee Lady Bowthorpe (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) is eyeing a pair of top flight races in France. The first target for the 5-year-old mare is the G1 Prix Jean Romanet on Aug. 22, and, if the bay continues to thrive, the G1 Prix de l'Opera on Arc day would come next. "I haven't been back [to the yard] myself, but I've had reports that everything is good with her...

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For Second Straight Year, Longines HKIR Prove Odds-Defying Show

by Alan Carasso Hong Kong was in the throes of massive social unrest at the time of the 2019 Longines Hong Kong International Races, protests had taken place at the Chinese University of Hong Kong literally steps away from Sha Tin Racecourse, and the city bore the scars of the same. The tension was palpable, yet the Hong Kong Jockey Club staged a successful renewal of the races, so successful, in fact, that record turnover of HK$1.71 billion was realised. Only weeks after, Hong Kong was enveloped in the global...

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Reynier On the Road Again

Jerome Reynier may lack the name recognition and firepower enjoyed by his fellow Frenchmen like Arc-winner Jean-Claude Rouget, the legendary Andre Fabre and rising star Francis-Henri Graffard. But the 35-year-old, based in Marseille in the southeast of France, can boast of sharing a spot with that esteemed company on the French trainers' premiership by earnings (north of €2 million in France alone, good for ninth place) and by number of winners (81, sixth most). Reynier can close what by any metric has been an outstanding season this weekend in Hong...

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'Sixty' Set to Confirm Status As Hong Kong's 'Golden' Child

History tells us that when one darling of the Hong Kong turf fades into the sunlight, almost invariably--though not to be taken for granted--another one appears. Fairy King Prawn (Aus) was the marquee Hong Kong galloper at the turn of the century and it wasn't long after that Silent Witness (Aus) took the jurisdiction by storm, embarking on a 17-race winning streak that included back-to-back runnings of the G1 Hong Kong Sprint in 2003-2004. A Derby win often paves the path to Hong Kong super-stardom, and such was the case...

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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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