HK jockeys restricted in overseas rides

Contracted Hong Kong jockeys are to be restricted in the number of overseas meetings they can attend.

The HK Jockey Club says jockeys will only be given permission to ride at meetings where the Group One races are among the top 100 listed by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

The announcement comes two weeks after champion Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira was injured in a fall at Flemington in a support race to the Melbourne Cup.

Moreira had to forfeit the ride on Irish horse Thomas Hobson in the Cup and was ruled out of the meeting in Hong Kong the following day.

“Once permission to ride in a Group One race is granted, the jockey is allowed to take rides in other races on the same race card but jockeys have been directed to be discerning in this respect,” the HKJC statement said.

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“Permission will be limited to riding in jurisdictions whose Rules of Racing allow for deferral of penalty sufficient to ensure that jockeys are able to fulfil their riding commitments in Hong Kong.”

In Australia, only NSW and Victoria hold races ranked in the top 100.

NSW has a policy allowing jockeys to defer suspensions for nine days pending their commitments.

“…the Club will liaise with any jurisdiction whose Rules currently do not provide for the required period of deferral: the Club will establish whether an arrangement which is acceptable to both jurisdictions can be achieved, which will allow Hong Kong-based jockeys to fulfil race riding engagements in Hong Kong at the race meeting(s) subsequent to any penalty being issued in the overseas jurisdiction,” the HKJC said.

The changes will take effect from January 1.