The Hong Kong Jockey Club could be headed for a clash with its trainers on bleeding rules if it becomes the first major racing jurisdiction in the world to declare horses as 'bleeders' without any external evidence. The club's clampdown on pre-race veterinary checks to protect punters seems certain to be extended to an upgraded post-race examination into sub-par performances. The matter could lead to friction between the club and Hong Kong's trainers, though, as the post-race checks on the horses will automatically include an endoscopic examination of disappointing runners. 'Scoping' can detect stress-induced bleeding in the lungs but trainers are likely to object to bans on the strength of the testing due to the fact that most horses bleed to some extent after racing. 'We understand that but there would be a scale for the intensity of the bleeding, graded from, say, one to six, and the action taken would depend on the amount of bleeding,' said the Jockey Club's executive director of racing, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges. Currently, horses are only labelled as bleeders if the blood is evidenced at the nostrils during or after racing. Under the new system of physical checks for horses which perform poorly, a horse might be found to have bled sufficiently to be declared a bleeder without any external evidence. 'We know many horses bleed in races but when you have well-performed horses running very poorly, there needs to be action taken to determine the reason for it and then we must decide how we can best protect our customers,' Engelbrecht-Bresges said. The rules on bleeders ban a horse from racing for three months after a first episode and for life after a second occurrence.