Racing

HKJC overcomes pandemic to stage its global meeting

Even in times of a pandemic, The Hong Kong Jockey Club has risen to the occasion - it pulled off another successful Longines Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin.

Its chief executive officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges saluted Hong Kong's "unique spirit and resilience", after the Group 1 glory across four world-class features shared among Japan, Ireland and Hong Kong on Sunday.

Japan took the HK$28 million (S$4.8 million) Hong Kong Cup over 2,000m with Normcore and the HK$22 million Hong Kong Sprint over 1,200m with Danon Smash. Ireland snared the HK$20 million Hong Kong Vase over 2,400m with Mogul and the host nation captured the HK$25 million Hong Kong Mile over 1,600m with its superstar Golden Sixty.

"It is important to have these global events. We are very proud that as a team, we pulled this off," Engelbrecht-Bresges said. "There were some anxious moments and discussions about 'How can we do this?' But, in the end, we focused on the result and the results speak for themselves.

"The tracks were in outstanding condition, if you look at the way the horses were handled in quarantine and how the jockeys were brought into isolation facilities, everything went perfectly in challenging times. But this is the 'can-do' spirit of Hong Kong and the playing-to-win spirit of the Jockey Club."

Engelbrecht-Bresges said challenges posed by Covid-19 contrived to make the latest staging of the "Turf World Championships" the most difficult in the club's history.

"But the system we created was extremely robust. It all passed all the tough questions of health officials and I would like to thank the government for trusting us," he said. - HKJC

HORSE RACING