Dec 4 LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship

Silvestre de Sousa

Representing Country/Region: Britain

Age: 38

Background: Brazilian ace Silvestre de Sousa lit up Happy Valley with victory in the 2018 LONGINES IJC and followed up four days later with a first LONGINES HKIR win aboard Glorious Forever in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup. One of 10 children, he first sat on a horse on the family farm at age six, became an apprentice jockey at age 18 and within two years 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 win in Britain 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 British champion jockey title and repeated in 2017 (155 wins) and again in 2018 (148 wins). Injury knocked him out of the title race in 2019. De Sousa notched 16 winners in each of his first two short winter stints in Hong Kong (2015/16 and 2016/17) and earned a fine 44 during a longer spell in 2018/19.

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

IJC record: 2018 - WON;2017 - 2nd; 2015 - 4th.

Zac Purton

Representing Country/Region: Hong Kong

Age: 36

Background: Zac Purton sealed a third Hong Kong jockeys’ championship last season with a dominant 168 wins, just two shy of Joao Moreira’s all-time record, and stakes money of almost HK$235 million. 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 own 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 a record-matching eight victories at the LONGINES HKIR including in each of the four features. He is the regular partner of current Hong Kong champion Beauty Generation.

Honours include: Hong Kong Champion Jockey (2013/14, 2017/18, 2018/19); Brisbane Champion Jockey (2003 - when still an apprentice); LONGINES IJC (2017); World Super Jockeys Series (Japan) winner (2012).

IJC record: 2018 - 10th  (DH); 2017 - WON; 2016 - 7th; 2014 - 6th; 2013 - 2nd; 2012 - 2nd.

Frankie Dettori

Representing Country/Region: Italy

Age: 48

Background: One of racing’s global icons, Frankie Dettori brought the house down when winning the IJC for a third time in 2011 following wins in 1999 and 2001. He has been champion jockey in Britain three times and was, for many years, the big-race maestro for the Godolphin operation. Dettori’s phenomenal achievements include 250 G1 wins around the world spanning 30 years. Among those are 19 British Classics, six HKIR wins, 67 Royal Ascot triumphs and 14 Breeders’ Cup scores, as well as famous victories in the Japan Cup, Dubai World Cup and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. This year has brought a phenomenal 19 G1 wins, including the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Eclipse Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks on the brilliant Enable. He famously rode all seven winners on the card at Ascot in 1996, including the G1 QEII Stakes on Mark Of Esteem.

Honours include: British Champion Jockey (1994, 1995, 2004); LONGINES IJC (1999, 2001, 2011); 2015 and 2018 LONGINES World’s Best Jockey.

IJC record: 2011 - WON; 2003 - 13th; 2002 - 9th; 2001 - WON; 2000 - 3rd; 1999 - WON.

James McDonald

Representing Country/Region: Australia

Age: 27

Background: James McDonald made a big impression in Hong Kong on his LONGINES IJC debut when still a teenager back in 2011, finishing runner-up to Frankie Dettori. He returned the following May and partnered Xtension to victory in the 2012 G1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin. Champion Apprentice in his homeland, he went on to claim the Premiership there twice, in 2008/09 and latterly with a New Zealand record tally of 207 for the 2010/11 season. In 2012 he won a first New Zealand Derby. He clinched his first Sydney Premiership in July, 2014, bagged a second in 2015/16 and won a third last season with 104 wins. He was appointed Godolphin’s number one rider in Australia in March 2015 but lost that role when in December 2016 he was disqualified for 18 months due to a breach of betting rules. He returned to race-riding in May 2018 and now has 43 G1 wins and more than 1400 wins all told.

Honours include: Three-time Sydney champion jockey (2013/14, 2015/16, 2018/19); two-time New Zealand champion jockey (2008/09, 2010/11).

IJC record: 2015 - 9th;2014 - 3rd;2012 - 10th (DH);2011 - 2nd.

Ryan Moore

Representing Country/Region: Britain

Age: 36

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 has won 11 English Classics. His 11 G1 wins in 2019 have taken his overall tally to 127 at the elite level in 11 different countries. Moore has won some of the world’s 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.

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:  2018 - 5th; 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.

Oisin Murphy

Representing Country/Region: Britain

Age: 24

Background: Oisin Murphy won the British jockeys’ championship for the first time in 2019 with 220 wins. He has 14 career G1 wins among more than 900 total. The Killarney native is a graduate of the Irish pony racing circuit. Schooled in riding by his uncle, the Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Jim Culloty, Murphy worked summer holidays for trainers Tommy Stack and Aidan O'Brien. He was apprenticed to Andrew Balding in England in October 2012 and had his first race ride in May 2013 when already 18. He ended his first season (2013) with 41 wins, including a four-timer on Ayr Gold Cup day that featured the historic sprint handicap itself. Murphy impressed in winter stints in Australia and the UAE before riding his first short contract in Hong Kong in the winter of 2016/17, which brought four wins. His G1 breakthrough came in October, 2017 on Acclaim in the Prix de la Foret and two weeks later he took the G1 E P Taylor Stakes on Blond Me. He famously partnered Roaring Lion to four G1 wins under his retainer with Qatar Racing. Honours include: Britain’s Champion Jockey (2019); Britain’s Champion Apprentice (2014).

IJC record: Debut

Pierre-Charles Boudot

Representing Country/Region: France

Age: 26

Background: Pierre-CharlesBoudot won his second French champion jockey title - and first outright - in 2016 with a then European record of 300 wins that season. His father, the late Marc Boudot, was a trainer in central France. He attended the jockeys’ school at Govieux before joining the inimitable Andre Fabre as an apprentice. He notched his first win in April 2009 and his maiden G1 triumph was atop Gallante in the 2014 Grand Prix de Paris. He won the 2014 G1 Prix Rothschild and the following year’s G1 Prix Jacques le Marois and G1 Sun Chariot Stakes on Esoterique. Boudot rode in Japan for two months at the end of 2014, based at Ritto with trainer Yasutoshi Ikee. He achieved a career peak in 2019 when winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Waldgeist, one of seven G1 wins during the year.

Honours include: France’s champion jockey (2015 [tied with Christophe Soumillon] & 2016).

IJC record: 2017 - 3rd.

Colin Keane

Representing Country/Region: Ireland

Age: 25

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. He was again second in the premiership in 2018 with 82 wins and filled that position in 2019 with 103 wins. He secured a first G1 victory atop Laganore in the 2017 Premio Lydia Tesio and partnered the brilliant juvenile Siskin to four wins in 2019 including the G1 Phoenix Stakes.

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

IJC record: 2018 - 2nd.

Yuga Kawada

Representing Country/Region: Japan

Age: 34

Background: Yuga Kawada’s great-grandfather was a jockey and his grandfather and father are both horse trainers, all plying their trade in the regional NAR racing circuit. The rider gained his JRA jockey licence in 2004 and has amassed more than 1,300 JRA winners. He has no less than 17 G1 / JPN G1 wins, and he is just one of nine riders in JRA history to have won all five classic races – the Satsuki Sho (2,000 Guineas) on Captain Thule in 2008, the Oka Sho (1,000 Guineas) on Harp Star in 2014, the Tokyo Yushun (Derby) on Makahiki in 2016, the Yushun Himba (Oaks) on Gentildonna in 2012 and the Kikuka Sho (St Leger) on Big Week in 2010. He has also been associated with horses like Maurice, Lovely Day and Fine Needle. Kawada is a two-time JRA Award winner for the jockey with the highest winning percentage, achieving the feat in 2013 and 2014. Other notable wins: Takarazuka Kinen (2015 Lovely Day), Yasuda Kinen (2015 Maurice, 2017 Satono Aladdin), Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2014 Lachesis), Takamatsunomiya Kinen (2018 Fine Needle), Sprinters Stakes (2018 Fine Needle).

Honours include: 2019 World All-Star Jockeys champion; 2019 Shergar Cup winning team captain.

IJC record: Debut

Joao Moreira

Representing Country/Region: Hong Kong

Age: 36

Background: Known as “Magic Man”, Joao Moreira won the LONGINES IJC at his second attempt in 2012. The Brazilian sensation notched more than 1000 wins in South America before moving to Asia. He relocated to Singapore in 2009, and, after finishing third in the premiership in that first season, he proceeded to dominate the Singapore circuit for four years. He moved to Hong Kong in October 2013 and was champion jockey for three straight seasons, with record-breaking win totals (145, 168 and 170). He is currently leading this season’s premiership.

Honours include: LONGINES IJC winner (2012); Hong Kong Champion Jockey (2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17); Singapore Champion Jockey (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013); two-time Brazilian Eclipse Award winner (2006/07, 2007/08); fastest 100 in a Hong Kong season (22 February, 2017); Hong Kong record for most wins in a season (170 in 2016/17); most wins in a Hong Kong race day (eight: 5 March, 2017); Singapore record for most wins in a season (206 in 2012); eight wins from eight rides at Kranji (6 September, 2013); eight wins in a day at Cidade Jardim (March 2006). World All-Star Series (Japan) winner (2015).

IJC record: 2017 - 9th (DH); 2016 - 8th (DH); 2015 - 6th; 2014 - 2nd; 2012 - WON; 2010 - 9th (DH).

Karis Teetan

Representing Country/Region: Hong Kong

Age: 29

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. He entered the South African Jockey Academy at the age of 14 and 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. His first top level win was 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. He topped that in 2018/19 as he secured his first Hong Kong G1 win aboard Mr Stunning in the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint and notched a best ever 84 wins for the term.

Honours include: South African Champion Apprentice (2008).

IJC record: 2018 – 7th; 2017 - 9th (DH).

Vincent Ho

Representing Country/Region: Hong Kong

Age: 29

Background: HKJC Apprentice Jockeys' School graduate Vincent Ho is maturing into a serious talent on the Hong Kong scene and won the 2018/19 Tony Cruz Award as the season’s leading homegrown rider, with a career-high 56 wins. He racked up 44 wins as a young rider in New Zealand under the tutelage of leading trainer Lance O'Sullivan and 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. Ho rode a short stint in Europe during the off-season in 2018 and notched a first win in Britain at the first attempt, partnering the Mark Johnston-trained X Rated to success at Haydock in August that year. He returned to Britain during the 2019 off-season and competed at the Shergar Cup at Ascot where he won the Shergar Cup Mile aboard the Marcus Tregoning trained-Power Of Darkness, helping the Rest of the World team secure the Shergar Cup.

Honours include: Hong Kong Champion Apprentice (2010/11); Best Freelance Jockey Award (2014/15); Tony Cruz Award (2018/19).

IJC record: 2018 – 3rd; 2014 – 5th.