Visiting jockeys are given the rule book to study before the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys Championship - rather than having it thrown at them later on. Chief stipendiary steward Jamie Stier said yesterday that as soon as jockeys accepted their invitation for the series, extracts from the relevant sections of the Jockey Club rules of racing were sent to them. 'We copy them on all the sections of the rule book which are likely to involve them,' Stier said. 'And when they get here, there are always copies of the official rule books available to them at the service counters of the hotel where they stay.' Stier said the first thing the jockeys were acquainted with when they arrived in Hong Kong was the policy on careless riding. The Australian-born chief steward has said many times that safety of the riders is the top priority and the visitors are left in no doubt they will face stiff suspensions and fines if they transgress. 'The other thing we talk to them about is the objection mechanism,' Stier said. 'In Hong Kong, unlike some parts of the world, such as France and Japan, just interfering with a horse will not necessarily mean that horse must lose an objection. 'The rules state that for placings to be altered, the stewards must be comfortably satisfied the amount of ground lost through the interference was greater than the final margin between the two horses.' Stier said he would also remind the riders that just because an inquiry sign was posted by stewards after a race, it did not diminish their responsibility to lodge a protest if they thought one was warranted. 'That's a particularly important one,' Stier said. 'If they think their horse has met some interference that either cost it the race or its best-possible placing, it is their responsibility to lodge a protest, regardless of whether the inquiry sign is up or not.' The recent innovation of First Four betting has also meant that stewards have had to issue reminders about the responsibility of jockeys to ride their mounts right out to the line. 'Before this, it was only an issue for minor prize money but the onus has now shifted a little and with public betting involved in the new First Four bet type, it becomes doubly important that the jockeys punch them right out,' Stier continued. 'We will be warning all riders that regardless of whether they can win or finish in the first three or not, if they are still competitive then they have to be ridden right to the line.' Stier said the unique contours of the Happy Valley racecourse have actually helped make the International Jockeys Championship the special event it has become. 'Having it at Happy Valley, rather than Sha Tin, makes it more of a test of the rider,' he said. 'Happy Valley, because of its design, is an unusual racecourse and it will ultimately be very much a test of the skill of the rider as it is the quality of the horses they are riding.' But when all the preparation is done, it is all up to the 12 jockeys themselves who are nearly always champions in their own jurisdictions. Stier concluded: 'On the day, when we address the riders, we will be asking them to go out and ensure they do their best to put on a good show for the customers, but to keep it safe at all times.'