United States-based reinsman Florent Geroux will head to Hong Kong this week for his first appearance in the Longines International Jockeys' Championship on Wednesday. The four-race event will pit 12 of the world's top jockeys against one another for a top prize of HK$500,000 (about US$64,000).
“The LONGINES IJC is established as perhaps the world's toughest jockey challenge, probably the most exciting and certainly the most lucrative,” Andrew Harding, Hong Kong Jockey Club's executive director, told Racing & Sport. “It brings together some of the world's very best riders and pitches them into a thrilling four-race contest around Happy Valley's floodlit arena, a track that is as stunning to behold as it is testing to ride around.”
Three previous IJC winners will line up against Geroux on Wednesday: world-leading English jockey Ryan Moore, who has won the event twice already; Hong Kong's Joao Moreira, 2012 winner; and last year's winner, South Africa's Gavin Lerena. Other entrants include Australia's superstar Hugh Bowman (pilot of Winx), nine-time Irish champion Pat Smullen, Japan-based Keita Tosaki and Mirco Demuro, Frenchman Mickael Barzalona, and three more Hong Kong-based riders, Zac Purton, Douglas Whyte, and Derek Leung.
The jockeys have each drawn one of a dozen mounts in four races, in which they will earn points for finishing in the top three: 12 points for 1st; 6 points for 2nd; 4 points for 3rd. The jockey with the most points at the end of the four races will be declared the winner. The draws are available here.
The contest kicks off in Race 4 at Happy Valley on Wednesday, with a post time of 9:10 a.m. EST.
Read more at Racing & Sport.
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