Hong Kong Mile

Officials upset over MJC's handling of Ba Ba

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 December, 2011, 12:00am


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As the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races recede into history for another 12 months, the Jockey Club is set to make its feelings known with the Macau Jockey Club regarding the resurrection of a CXHKIR hero on Taipa.

Rejected by racing officials in Singapore and Dubai, three-time Hong Kong Mile champion Good Ba Ba is set to recommence his racing career in Macau, as his 10th birthday looms.

The winner of 16 races and HK$59,026,500 in stakes has not won since he became the only horse to take any CXHKIR race three times with his barnstorming win over Happy Zero two years ago today and was a show of himself last season before his retirement, and the Jockey Club's chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges is not impressed with the latest plans.

'I have not commented until now because I didn't want this distracting anyone from our international meeting, but I have written to the MJC to express our disappointment that at the least we were not informed or consulted for an opinion,' Engelbrecht-Bresges said yesterday.

'Both Dubai and Singapore spoke to us on the matter and I think that the Good Neighbour Policy does require such courtesies on how our racing organisations relate to each other. Personally, as a horse racing fan, I am disappointed that a horse like this would not be allowed to enjoy his retirement.

'Of course, it is the owner's horse but, with him sending the horse back into training at Taipa, there is also now the embarrassing possibility that Good Ba Ba may turn up as a Macau entry in our interport races and, as a club, we have to think seriously about how we would respond to that.'

Engelbrecht-Bresges said the club is also disappointed owner, John Yuen Se-kit, would have taken this course with the horse after responding in a different way to the many questions directed at him about Good Ba Ba's future.

'He was asked many times if this was happening and denied it every time but now the facts say something different,' he said.