FLIGHTS to South Africa from Hong Kong in mid-February are going to be in keen demand from jockeys currently riding at Sha Tin as they bid for glory - and a sizeable slice of rand. That's the currency of South Africa as Basil Marcus, Felix Coetzee and Piere Strydom know only too well. And it's a currency that Irish champion Mick Kinane might be laying his hands on if all goes well. The South African Racing Association is putting on a special jockeys' invitation contest between South Africa and Europe and the immediate problem for the host nation is that most of their best riders are currently not in the country. Already asked to attend the big event in Johannesburg on February 17 are Marcus and Coetzee while Strydom will be back in his own country at that time. Kinane was invited before leaving Ireland for his yearly Hong Kong stint while former British champion jockey, Michael Roberts, is also expected back in South African to represent his country. Marcus, however, may still decide against making the trip. 'It is a tricky time for me as we have good horses running in top races at that time and my priority must be to my owners and my trainer here. It is a lovely idea and I would like to be part of it but, at the moment, I have to say it is doubtful,' said Marcus yesterday. Coetzee will go if retaining trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee gives him permission and the local mentor said later he would not be standing in his way. 'It is a holiday period and if they want Felix to ride for South Africa that is all right with me,' said Kan. British champion Frankie Dettori has been invited and if he declines the nod could go to former champion Pat Eddery, who has ridden in special invitation races there before. Kinane, too, looks a certain starter for the event which is paying good money over and above the normal prize money. The last Hong Kong meeting before the Lunar New Year is on February 11 with the South African racing authorities wanting all jockeys in the country by February 12.