Dec 5 LONGINES International Jockeys' Championship

Mickael Barzalona

Representing Country/Region: France

Age: 27

Background: Mickael Barzalona was born in Avignon, France, a grandson of Corsican trainer Christian Barzalona and nephew of former Flat and Jumps jockey Armand Barzalona. He began his career with France’s standout trainer, Andre Fabre, with whom he is still associated, and is Godolphin’s number one rider in France. A precocious sensation, he enjoyed a stunning Dubai Carnival in 2011, at age 19, winning major races for the Godolphin operation, and that momentum took him to a famous English Derby win in June of that year aboard Pour Moi for Fabre and Coolmore. He then headed to Hong Kong for a short stint in 2011/12, notching one winner from 42 rides. Barzalona won the 2012 G1 Dubai World Cup aboard Monterosso and the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Turf on Talismanic. The latest of his 13 G1 wins came on Kitesurf in the 2018 Prix Vermeille.

IJC record: 2016 - 10th.

Hugh Bowman

Representing Country/Region: Australia

Age: 38

Background: The 2017 LONGINES World’s Best Jockey award recipient, Bowman boasts an outstanding career record of 87 G1 victories among more than 2,000 wins since his debut ride on Naturalised in 1999. He has been champion jockey in Sydney four times. He has been the most prolific G1-winning jockey in Australia for each of the past three seasons. He has a record of 28 wins from 29 rides on the champion mare Winx, notably an incredible four wins in the Cox Plate. In Hong Kong, he has won the QEII Cup, Hong Kong Derby, Hong Kong Gold Cup and Champions & Chater Cup with Werther, and the 2017 G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize on Lucky Bubbles. This season he has already notched six top-level wins.

Notable honours include: Sydney champion jockey (2008/09, 2011/12, 2014/15, 2016/17); LONGINES IJC (2016)

IJC record: 2017- 4th; 2016 - WON; 2015 - 10th (DH); 2009 - 7th.

Javier Castellano

Representing Country/Region: USA

Age: 41

Background: Javier Castellano was inducted into the American National Museum Racing Hall of Fame in 2017. The native of Venezuela is a four time Eclipse award winner, for the nation's top jockey, in North America and 12 times leading rider on the New York Racing Association circuit. He’s ridden 108 Group 1 winners including ten Breeders’ Cup victories. He won consecutive races, at Belmont Park on 21 October, to give him his 5,000th career victory in North America. He set the record for earnings in one year when his mounts won US$28.1 million in 2015.He began his career in Venezuela in 1996, before moving to the United States a year later and riding his first winner at Calder in Florida. He won the Preakness Stakes in 2006 and 2017 and the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Travers Stakes in 2004. He won this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Bulletin and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on City Of Light.

Notable honours include: Eclipse award winner in North America four years straight from 2013. 2017 Hall of Fame inductee. 10-time Breeders’ Cup winner. More than 5,000 career winners of more than US$300 million.

IJC record: 2006 – 12th

Silvestre de Sousa

Representing Country/Region: Britain

Age: 37

Background: One of 10 children, Brazilian ace Silvestre de Sousa first sat on a horse at age 18 and within two years he was champion apprentice in Sao Paulo. He moved to Europe at age 22 and was employed as a work rider for Dermot Weld. In 2004, dispirited after two years without a ride in public, De Sousa moved to England and teamed up with North Yorkshire trainer Dandy Nicholls. His first UK win was achieved aboard Sonic Anthem at Southwell on 1 January, 2006. Riding mainly for lesser trainers, often on longshots, he established his reputation on the northern circuit and in 2010 he rode his first century. With trainer Mark Johnston's support he finished runner-up in the 2011 British champion jockey race. He was retained by Godolphin from 2012 to 2014, during which time his haul included the G1 Dubai World Cup on African Story. Riding freelance in 2015, he achieved 132 wins to claim the UK champion jockey title and repeated in 2017 (155 wins) and again in 2018 (148 wins). De Sousa has notched an admirable 16 winners in each of his two short winter stints in Hong Kong (2015/16 and 2016/17) and is currently based in Hong Kong.

Notable honours include: British Champion Jockey (2015, 2017 & 2018).

IJC record: 2017 - 2nd; 2015 - 4th.

Colin Keane

Representing Country/Region: Ireland

Age: 24

Background: Born in County Meath, Colin Keane is the son of trainer Gerry Keane and has emerged as a star of the Irish racing scene since riding his first winner, No Trimmings, for his father at Dundalk on 10 December, 2010. He teamed with trainer Ger Lyons in 2014 and was Ireland’s champion apprentice with 54 wins, the second highest tally in history behind Joseph O’Brien’s record of 57. After running second on the overall championship in 2015, he was crowned Ireland’s outright champion in 2017 with 100 wins. This season he was second in the premiership with 82 wins. He secured a first G1 victory atop Laganore in the 2017 Premio Lydia Tesio.

Notable honours include: Ireland’s Champion Jockey (2017); Ireland’s Champion Apprentice (2014)

IJC record: Debut

Christophe Lemaire

Representing Country/Region: Japan

Age: 39

Background: Christophe Lemaire leapt to prominence in 2004 thanks to his partnership with the brilliant French champion filly Divine Proportions and two years later he rode the crack mare Pride to win the G1 Champion Stakes and G1 Hong Kong Cup. Other top class winners in those days include Stacelita, Makfi, Flotilla and Elusive Wave, while Dunaden carried him a Melbourne Cup win in 2011. His first Japanese major came a few years earlier aboard Heart’s Cry in the 2005 Arima Kinen and the duo took the 2006 Dubai Sheema Classic. Star mare Vodka’s Japan Cup is also among his 63 G1 wins to date. In early 2015 he and Mirco Demuro became the first overseas riders to be granted full-time jockey licences in Japan. In November 2016, he equalled the record of Yutaka Take for most wins at a single Japanese meeting with eight victories.

Notable honours include: JRA champion jockey (2017); LONGINES IJC winner (2009 [DH])

IJC record: 2012 - 10th (DH); 2011 - 3rd; 2010 - 6th; 2009 - WON (DH); 2008 – 2nd

Ryan Moore

Representing Country/Region: Britain

Age: 35

Background: Ryan Moore is a two-time winner of the LONGINES IJC. He is the outstanding international rider of recent years and was the first recipient of the LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award as a result of 15 G1 wins in 2014. He won that accolade again in 2016. Moore hails from a racing family. His first win came for his trainer father, Gary Moore, on Mersey Beat over hurdles at Towcester in May, 2000. His first professional Flat win came on Marwell’s Kiss at Lingfield in January, 2002. He notched a first G1 aboard Notnowcato in the 2006 Juddmonte International Stakes at York and he has since taken his G1-winning tally to 119 in 11 different countries. Moore has won some of the worlds’ foremost races including the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2016 Maurice), LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (2015 Maurice), LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2015 & 2017 Highland Reel), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, English Derby, Japan Cup, Breeders’ Cup Turf and Melbourne Cup.

Notable honours include: British Champion Jockey (2006, 2008, 2009); British Champion Apprentice (2003); LONGINES IJC winner (2009 [shared] & 2010); LONGINES World’s Best Jockey Award winner (2014 & 2016).

IJC record:  2017 - 6th; 2016 - 2nd; 2015 - 2nd; 2014 - 4th; 2013 - 5th; 2012 - 3rd; 2011 - 6th (DH); 2010 - WON; 2009 - WON (DH); 2007 - 10th (DH); 2006 - 6th.

Zac Purton

Representing Country/Region: Hong Kong

Age: 35

Background: Defending champion Zac Purton took last year’s contest on the way to an epic second Hong Kong Jockey’s premiership. Having ended Douglas Whyte's 13-season dominance with his first Hong Kong jockeys' championship in 2013/14 (112 wins), in 2017/18 he halted Joao Moreira’s title streak at three. His second championship was a remarkable effort as he chased down Moreira to take the lead for the first time that term on June 10, 2018. Five weeks later, at season’s end, he had outpointed Moreira 136-134 with a win strike rate of 21% to the Brazilian’s 20%. Purton started his career in Brisbane and was an apprentice sensation, winning the premiership there in 2003. He then moved on to Sydney where he was twice second in the premiership. Purton moved to Hong Kong in September, 2007. His many major wins include the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012 and six victories at the LONGINES HKIR including wins in each of the four G1s.

Notable honours include: Hong Kong Champion Jockey (2013/14, 2017/18); Brisbane Champion Jockey (2003 - when still an apprentice); LONGINES IJC (2017); World Super Jockeys Series (Japan) winner (2012).

IJC record: 2017 - WON; 2016 - 7th; 2014 - 6th; 2013 - 2nd; 2012 - 2nd.

Yutaka Take

Representing Country/Region: Japan

Age: 49

Background: Take is the son of famed jockey Kunihito Take and is a living legend in Japan, with more than 4,000 wins in his homeland and overseas. He has been champion jockey in Japan 18 times and was the first jockey to ride eight winners in a day in Japan, a feat achieved in December 2002. He became the first Japanese jockey to win a G1 race in Europe when Ski Paradise captured the 1994 Prix du Moulin. In 2000 he spent time riding in the US and in 2001 he was based with trainer John Hammond in France. His 110 G1 wins include four Japan Cups with Special Week (1999), Deep Impact (2006), Rose Kingdom (2010) and Kitasan Black (2016). His overseas achievements include the Hong Kong Cup (2015 A Shin Hikari) and Hong Kong Vase (2001 Stay Gold). In winning the G3 Sirius Stakes in October, 2015 he became the first rider to win 300 JRA Graded races in Japan.

Notable honours include: JRA champion jockey (x18); IJC winner (2004 [DH]); eight wins on a JRA race day.

IJC record: 2006 - 4th; 2005 - 11th; 2004 - WON (DH); 2003 - 5th; 2002 - 3rd; 2001 - 10th; 2000 - 8th.

Karis Teetan

Karis Teetan

Representing Country/Region: Hong Kong

Age: 28

Background: Mauritian rider Karis Teetan was well ensconced in the top 10 of the South African Jockeys' Championship when he left for Hong Kong in August, 2013. After entering the South African Jockey Academy at the age of 14, Teetan went on to be crowned South African Champion Apprentice in 2008. He graduated in 2009 with 147 wins to his credit. Teetan passed the 100-win mark in every season as a senior jockey in South Africa. He has recorded five Group 1 wins with his inaugural success at the top level being in his native Mauritius on 24 November, 2008, aboard Halo Hunter. Teetan represented South Africa in the 2012 International Jockeys' Invitational in Seoul, Korea and in the 2008 Macau Apprentice Jockeys Invitation Races. He notched an impressive 50 wins in his first Hong Kong season and has continued to build on that good start. He finished third in the 2017/18 premiership race with 52 wins, which included a trio of Group 3 triumphs.

Achievements: South African Champion Apprentice (2008).

Notable Wins Include: Hong Kong Classic Cup (2015 Thunder Fantasy), HKG2 Chairman's Trophy (2014 Able Friend), HKG2 Premier Bowl (2015 Able Friend), G2 Sha Tin Trophy Handicap (2016 Designs On Rome), G3 Sa Sa Ladies' Purse (2016 Horse Of Fortune), Cape Derby (2012 Jackson), Daily News 2000 (2012 Jackson), Paddock Stakes (2012 Thunder Dance), Castle Tankard (2011 Grisham).

IJC record: 2017 – 9th (DH).

Vincent Ho

Vincent Ho Chak-yiu

Representing Country/Region: Hong Kong

Age: 28

Background: HKJC Apprentice Jockeys' School graduate Vincent Ho racked up 44 wins as a young rider in New Zealand under the tutelage of leading trainer Lance O'Sullivan. He made a good start to his Hong Kong career with 10 victories in his first season in 2009/10, including a trio of wins he achieved on only his fourth race day in Hong Kong. He sealed the 2010/11 Champion Apprentice title with 39 wins. Ho reached the graduation benchmark on 1 October, 2012 by claiming his 70th win in Hong Kong on board Castle Hero. He notched 33 wins in 2014/15 to be the season's leading homegrown rider. He rode a short stint in Europe during the off-season in 2018 and notched a first UK win at the first attempt, partnering the Mark Johnston-trained X Rated to success at Haydock on 9 August.

Achievements: Hong Kong Champion Apprentice (2010/11); Best Freelance Jockey Award (2014/15).

Notable Wins Include: HKG3 National Day Cup (2014 Bundle Of Joy). 

IJC record: 2014 – 5th

Matthew Poon

Matthew Poon Ming-fai

Representing Country/Region: Hong Kong

Age: 24

Background: Matthew Poon joined Hong Kong's race-riding ranks in March, 2017. He landed a win on his first race-day but also suffered an injury that side-lined him for three weeks. Upon returning he raced to 20 wins and a reduction to his 10lb claim within 14 fixtures and 112 rides. His second Hong Kong season yielded 35 victories. The HKJC Apprentice Jockeys' School student undertook his overseas training in South Australia, embarking in June, 2015, and was based with leading trainer Richard Jolly. His first race ride, a winner, came in October of that year. At the end of his first season, in July, 2016, he was crowned South Australia's Champion Apprentice Jockey with 51 wins. His second season in Adelaide saw him ride 65 winners and at the time of his departure for Hong Kong in March, 2017, he was sitting second in the South Australian jockeys championship. Poon commenced his Hong Kong career with an overall record of 117 wins from 862 rides at a rate of 13.57%. His first pattern victory came aboard Faaltless in the SIN G3 Garden City Trophy in Singapore in August, 2017 and he notched a second win in that grade when taking the Jumbo Jet Trophy at Kranji during the Hong Kong off-season in 2018. He is indentured to trainer David Hall.

Notable Wins Include: SIN G3 Garden City Trophy (2017 Faaltless), SIN G3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (2018 Preditor).

IJC record: Debut


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