Italian star jockey, Frankie Dettori, would take part in the Longines International Jockeys’ Championship taking place in Happy Valley. Hong Kong, on Wednesday night. Dettori hopes to win the event for the fourth time, an event which has not participated in since 2011.
Dettori, who has enjoyed a very good season so far by winning 19 Group Ones, is quite excited to be in Hong Kong for an event which he describes as challenging. Currently ranked first in the 2019 Longines World’s Best Jockey Ranking, the event would see Dettori competing with other top-ranked jockey for the $65,000 prize. Little wonders he describes it as challenging, but no doubt, he loves it. For him, it is a privilege to compete with such top-ranked jockeys.
Dettori won the event in 1999, 2001, and 2011, and is currently the second person with three wins, after Douglas Whyte. If he wins it for a fourth time, that would be a new record set, and Dettori believes he is up for it.
The event would feature 12 jockeys all in top form. Among them is Zac Purton, Hong Kong’s favourite. Zac is ranked second after Dettori in Longines ranking. Zac, who is the reigning Hong Kong jockey, won the IJC in 2017.
Other riders include latest British champion, Oisin Murphy, who would be competing for the fourth consecutive time since 2016, hoping for his first win. Defending champion Silvestre de Sousa, former British champion, hopes to win his title again but admits that he feels pressured a bit, partially due to the star-studded competitors. He, however, hopes to sail through.
From Japan, we have Yuga Kawada, who will be competing in the event for the first time. Kawada was the winner of the World All-Star Jockeys Championship in Japan and felt it as a big honour to be in the midst of stars. Two-time winner, Ryan Moore, also represents the British side.