How to get the best out of the International Jockeys' Championship
As much as we love the International Jockeys' Championship (IJC), there remain a few gripes.
One which has been aired here before and genuinely must be addressed is the lack of a South African representative. Yes, Douglas Whyte is there and he is South African, but every year he is selected under the banner of Hong Kong champion.
Considering the contribution made to Hong Kong by the South Africans, it only seems right that someone should be riding for that country.
The other little bellyache is the wet blanket function on Monday to select riders when the only rider able to be present was Howard Cheng Yue-tin. Though betting on tonight's racing didn't open until 11am yesterday it is felt Tuesday morning is too late to draw rides in the presence of the jockeys, though it would give the club a chance to dress the occasion more appropriately.
One issue is apparently with timely distribution of field lists with official riders to Hong Kong OCBs - but, in the technological capabilities of 2007, we can't quite wear it as a deal breaker. Another is that the Jockey Club is thinking ahead to international pools on Hong Kong, and even on the Jockeys' Championship itself in the near future, when it believes that Monday declaration of jockeys would be imperative to ensure they are disseminated to foreign operators.
The photo opportunity with the riders staged on the Tuesday afternoon is always welcome but it would be nice to get the two halves of the IJC together - it is only once a year.