The Hong Kong Jockey Club will restructure its racing division following the sudden resignation on Monday of executive director of racing business and operations Tony Kelly.

Kelly is currently in England after returning home for “personal reasons” and chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said that those matters had prompted Kelly’s resignation, with immediate effect.

Kelly joined the club at the start of the 2015-16 season, when the Jockey Club split the duties of what had been the executive director of racing job between the business and operations division, run by Kelly, and the racing authority division, headed by Andrew Harding.

The club now plans to merge those two segments back into one division under Harding, with the incoming business and operations executive director reporting to him.

“I want to make clear that there were no other issues, that Tony had personal reasons for leaving,” Engelbrecht-Bresges said. “On the positive side, I think Andrew has shown himself to be one of the most talented administrators in racing anywhere in the world and this new role is another step in acknowledging that.”

Harding said that he was looking forward to the larger role in the club on the eve of the operational opening of Conghua Training Centre in a few months and at a time when global commingling is growing the club’s brand and footprint across the world.

“It’s a pretty exciting point in the club’s development,” he said. “We have some incredible new challenges ahead so it’s a thrilling opportunity for me to be so involved.”

Engelbrecht-Bresges said a further announcement regarding the new executive director of racing business and operations role would be made on Tuesday.