Top English jockey William Buick is the new jockey for Pakistan Star in tomorrow’s Audemars Piguet QEII Cup after Kerrin McEvoy succumbed to an ear infection and was unable to fly to Hong Kong today .

McEvoy was himself a late call-up for Pakistan Star after Brazilian Silvestre de Sousa was unable to arrange suitable flights from England to take the ride.

McEvoy had just won a race at Hawkesbury, near Sydney, when he was stood down by stewards and then informed Jockey Club officials of the situation.

Cruz’s phone had no doubt running hot as jockeys lobbied for the ride on a horse who was second in last year’s QEII but has since stopped in a race and barrier trial, and showed signs of wanting to do the same at his most recent start.

Cruz instead turned to the 29-year-old Buick, a retained rider for Godolphin who is in town to ride leading chance Blue Point in the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize.

Pakistan Star has probably lost the title of Hong Kong racing’s most popular horse but he remains its most intriguing, his undoubted ability balanced in equal measure by a propensity for unpredictable behaviour.

Trainer Caspar Fownes has called on Brett Prebble to replace McEvoy on Southern Legend in the Group One Champions Mile.

“Kerrin called me straight away and told me, which is unfortunate, but Brett is an experienced rider and will do a good job,” Fownes said.

The Pakistan Star story so far: meet Hong Kong racing’s most popular – and unpredictable – racehorse