Innovative Australian racing executive Mark Player is to join the Hong Kong Jockey Club team after the current Melbourne Cup carnival. Player, currently director of equine development at the Racing Victoria organisation based in Melbourne, is expected to be named in the coming days to fill the post formerly undertaken by Dominic Li. Li's title was manager, international races and sale, and played a strong role in the purchase of horses for the club's International Sale. While it may still form part of Player's Hong Kong role, the intimations from the club suggest Player may not have been hired strictly for such a hands-on part in running the sale. 'Mark has been quite successful in his Australian job recruiting horses from Europe to run in the major races over the Melbourne carnival,' said the Jockey Club's executive director, racing, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, yesterday. 'While I believe the Jockey Club, through Ciaran Kennelly and I, has a strong contact base in Europe to draw horses for our Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International meeting, we are not as strong in Australia and New Zealand. Mark has an excellent network of contacts in the Southern Hemisphere.' But he also hinted that Player's role will extend to the potential future of exporting Hong Kong racing to the world. 'Our intention is to draw new turnover into our betting pools from agreements with countries overseas and Australia is one jurisdiction where we see a lot of promise for this idea. Mark's knowledge and contacts there promise to make him valuable in this regard,' Engelbrecht-Bresges said. 'In addition, he has a strong background in the marketing of racing which we hope he will bring to his role in Hong Kong.' Player has been a regular visitor to Hong Kong during International time each year. His current position at Racing Victoria entails, amongst other roles, responsibilities for international media rights and international business development, which dovetails with the future aspirations of HKJC. In other news, yesterday's assistant trainers' seminar went through without a hitch, according to Engelbrecht-Bresges. 'The afternoon session was set aside for them to communicate to us any concerns or problems they may have with the current set-up,' he said. 'In the morning, we outlined the new challenges the Jockey Club is facing due to casinos in Macau, soccer betting and changes in lifestyles. But they were told they should not be afraid of competition and that there would be job security for those with acceptable performances. We understand it is not always easy having two bosses, their trainer and also the Jockey Club, and trainers are not always as open with us as they might be during the season. We are working on trainers being more frank with their performance assessments.'