The International Jockeys Championship, better known as Longines International Jockeys Championship for sponsorship purposes, is one of the most esteemed contests on the global horse racing calendar.
As home to some of the strongest international competitions, the horse racing season in Hong Kong is renowned worldwide, and the International Jockey Championship is one of these races.
Here is a brief look at the race format and the past winners of the International Jockeys Championship (IJC).
International Jockeys Championship Race Format
The IJC is a highly competitive event comprising a series of four races held on the same day at the turf track of Happy Valley Racecourse in the Wan Chai District of Hong Kong.
The competing jockeys are awarded points for all four races, and the jockey with the highest points accumulated at the end of the fourth race is the winner. Twelve points are awarded on winning a race, 6 points for 2nd place, while 4 points are awarded to the jockey finishing in 3rd place. The jockey with the highest points takes the title of the champion and the winner of that evening’s Jockey Challenge.
Every year, the IJC holds up to its reputation as one of the most exciting races on the global horse racing calendar. It is a star-studded event with participation from some of the best jockeys from around the world.
The IJC is also unique from the other races held during the international week in Hong Kong. While spectators are mostly focused on the horses competing in the other horse races, the IJC is predominantly a competition amongst the jockeys vying for the prize. The atmosphere at Happy Valley Racecourse on the night of the International Jockeys Championship is electrifying as crowds cheer for their favourite jockeys, making a run for the finish line atop the galloping stallions.
International Jockeys Championship Past Winners
The IJC 2021 took place on 8th December at Happy Valley Racecourse. The four races for the IJC were reserved as races 4, 5, 7, and 8. The prize money for the IJC was HK$800,000, which was to be shared among the top three winners of the race.
The event was won by the Singapore-based Australian Jockey, Zac Purton. Previously, Zac Purton won the IJC in 2020 and 2017.
With his win, Zac Purton ended Douglas Whyte’s 13-season dominance as the reigning jockey. He also joined Frankie Dettori and Douglas Whyte as a three-time winner of the Longines International Jockeys Championship.
Other past winners include Karis Teetan, Silvestre de Sousa, Hugh Bowman, Gavin Lerena, Ryan Moore.
Where does the International Jockey Championship take place?
The IJC takes place at the Happy Valley Racecourse, Hong Kong.
Who finished second at the IJC 2021?
Mickael Barzalona, Hollie Doyle, Tom Marquand, and James McDonald were in second place at the end of the four-race series with 12 points each.
What are the conditions for betting on the International Jockey Championships?
To place bets on horse racing events in Hong Kong, you must be at least 18 years of age.
How many jockeys have won the IJC three times?
Besides Zac Purton, two other winners, Douglas Whyte and Frank Dettori have won the International Jockey Championship three times.