Club to tweak Challenge betting rules

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 March, 2012, 12:00am


The Jockey Club will make adjustments to the Jockey Challenge fixed-odds bet to avoid a repeat of Sunday's suspension of betting on contest leader Douglas Whyte.

Whyte had firmed in to be the 1.01 favourite for the Jockey Challenge in-play betting after landing 28 points in the first three races. He started out a long odds-on fancy even before racing started.

After adding another 20 points by the time race six was over, Whyte could still be beaten, in terms of the mathematics anyway, so betting would not normally be suspended.

However, the club's oddsmakers believed Whyte's market price should have shortened from the 1.01 offered earlier, but had no means by which to display a lower price.

So wagering was suspended on the almost-inevitable winner Whyte, but left open on the three or four other riders still with a tiny chance on paper of winning.

'It was something unforeseen when the rules and policies for the Jockey Challenge were first constructed - that a jockey might be 1.01 and need to shorten. But it was like offering betting on the Champions League and not letting anyone back Barcelona, and I don't think that sent a good message to our customers,' said Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges yesterday. 'At odds of 1.01, it isn't as though we were going to get a lot of bets anyway so I don't think there was any reason to suspend betting on Whyte alone. And I can tell you that situation will not occur again.'

In other news, the Jockey Club has temporarily licensed six Macau-based riders to take part in Saturday's Hong Kong-Macau Trophy meeting.

They are Stanley Chin Kin-ming (riding weight 116 pounds), Luis Corrales (116), Fausto Durso (114), Patrick Holmes (114), Graham Gibbons (115) and Roger Yu Kin-hung (114).

The six will come to ride Macau-based runners in the feature race but are available to take rides in all the support races on the programme as well.

For Irishman Gibbons and New Zealander Holmes, the day will be their first rides at Sha Tin.