Bringing in a pinch hitter has its restrictions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2012, 12:00am


While on John Moore, the trainer did seek to import a jockey for this weekend's HK$8 million Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup when Darren Beadman was injured last week, and has been told it isn't allowed under the Jockey Club's policy.

The policy, which requires a couple of readings in its current form, was reworked in 2005 after it had previously been permitted for an owner to bring in any rider he wished for a Group One race.

The 'new' policy allows you to bring whoever you like, for the six international races plus the Derby. The second clause allows the bringing of whoever you like to ride a horse in its lead-up to one of those first clause races, provided there is an undertaking the same jockey will be on board in the main target.

Thus, Weichong Marwing has ridden Sweet Orange on that basis and club officials were already putting on their 'not happy' faces when it was rumoured - later denied - on Monday connections wanted to change the pilot after Sunday's defeat. And the third clause is Group One mounts are available to foreign-based riders if they have ridden here for at least a month during the season, or have participated in any of the last three International Jockeys' Championships at Happy Valley.

From Moore's point of view, in a stable where owners are spending plenty of money on Group One-standard horses, the old open-slather concept was the simplest and also most reasonable approach, but the club has sought to protect the interests of the club and freelance jockey roster at any given time.