Tag Archive for: Longines International Jockeys’ Championship

Purton holds off Doyle and Marquand in Hong Kong challenge

Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle had to settle for a share of second place as Zac Purton took the Longines International Jockeys’ Championship in Hong Kong for the third time.

Purton, who is based in the former UK colony, lifted the prize despite not riding a winner in the four-leg series.

His tally of 16 points, thanks to three seconds and a third, was enough to give him victory over Doyle, Marquand, James McDonald and Mickael Barzalona. They were all on 12 points after each riding a winner.

Marquand produced Awesome Treasure with a pulsating late run to take the first leg for trainer David Hayes.

Purton looked like making all on Circuit Seven, but Awesome Treasure picked up strongly for Marquand and got up close home to win by half a length. Fabulous Eight pipped Circuit Seven by a neck for second spot.

Marquand said: “My first foreign forays were down in Australia for David when I’d had just under a year’s riding and I had a bit of success there. It’s absolutely great to be back riding for him here.

“This win ranks extremely highly in my career because riding against the world’s best jockeys, it’s pretty hard to top.”

Not to be outdone, Marquand’s partner Hollie Doyle landed the second leg on Viva Hunter, just edging out Purton on Glorious Lover by a nose.

Doyle said: “I thought I had been headed home. It (winning) is just as good if not better (than last year). It’s good to have a crowd here, it lifts the atmosphere and I’m blessed to have had the luck I’ve had.

“It’s very special to win against the world’s best jockeys and it’s a huge honour for Tom and I to be asked back here.”

Purton was also just touched off in the remaining two legs. McDonald took leg three on Invincible Missile from Amazing One Plus, with the Barzalona-ridden Elon taking the fourth and final leg. The winning margin in both races was a short head.

Of another triumph as top rider, Purton said: “I came here a little bit worried about the quality of horses I was riding and knew that I was going to need things go my way and luckily I was able to get some nice runs on them and give them their chances.

“It was a bit frustrating I kept getting beaten in those photos, but I suppose that makes for good racing and a good competition. The points added up, it’s very satisfying.”

Tom Marquand reunites with David Hayes in International Jockeys’ Championship

Australian trainer David Hayes is hoping for a successful reunion with Tom Marquand through Awesome Treasure in the first leg of the Longines International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

Marquand was temporarily based at Hayes’ Lindsay Park property in rural Victoria on his first Australian visit in 2019.

“Tom came down to Australia for his apprenticeship and he rode a few winners for my stable down there,” said Hayes.

He is optimistic Awesome Treasure, who ran second on his only start, can get Marquand off to a flying start in the five-furlong handicap.

“He led on debut and he was a bit disadvantaged that day with the wind the way it was. Not many held on and he nearly did,” said Hayes.

“He’s a very promising horse with a bright future and he’s now fully recovered from a minor leg injury and he’s basically first-up again.

“He’s got nice speed and he’s trialled twice at the Valley, so I thought this would be a nice race for him.”

Marquand’s rides in the other three legs of the competition are Jolly Honour, Wealthy Delight and Seven Heavens.

Record-breaker Hollie Doyle, who is Marquand’s fiancée, takes part in the competition for the second time, having become the first woman ride a winner in the series and finished joint third on her debut in 2020. She teams up with Trust Me, Viva Hunter, Presence and Winning Method this year.

Ryan Moore also contests the IJC having won in 2009 in a three-way tie and followed up in 2010. He rides Meridian Genius, AI One, Golden Link and Hong Kong Bet.

Australian rider Damian Lane hopes to capitalise on a strong book of rides on his first appearance in the competition.

Reflecting on the chances of Flying High, Dr Winning, Gallant Crown and California Cible, Lane agreed he had fared well in terms of ride allocation.

“I’m just very privileged to be part of the IJC. It’s the first time I’ve competed in this series and I’ve got some really nice rides and I’m really looking forward to competing in it,” said Lane, who feels California Cible in leg four has a winning chance.

“He’s drawn a touch tricky (gate nine) but he looks to be improving all the time since he’s been here in Hong Kong, which is a big plus,” he said.

New Zealand-born James McDonald, on the crest of a wave after winning the Melbourne Cup on Very Elleegant, is also excited about what might unfold at Happy Valley.

“It’s a meeting that we love competing at, I’ve had a little bit of luck over the years and I definitely wasn’t going to miss it,” said McDonald, who rides Wild West Wing, Sacred Ibis, Invincible Missile and Ginson.

“We’ll need a bit of luck with the barriers for sure but they look an even bunch of rides and so hopefully we get a bit of luck in the run and they’ll be figuring in the finish.”

Alexis Badel, Mickael Barzalona, Lyle Hewitson, Vincent Ho, Yuga Kawada, Joao Moreira and Zac Purton complete the list of 12 riders taking part in the points-based competition which offers HK$500,000 to the winner.