Dettori and co set for Hong Kong challenge

Frankie Dettori, Kieren Fallon and Michael Kinane are among the European riders set to tackle the International Jockeys Championship in Hong Kong on December 10.

Frankie Dettori, Kieren Fallon and Michael Kinane are among the European riders set to tackle the International Jockeys Championship in Hong Kong on December 10.

Dettori, who won the event in 1999 and 2001, will be representing the United Arab Emirates, while Fallon and Kinane will ride for Great Britain and Ireland respectively.

French superstar Christophe Soumillon will be taking part, along with German rider Andrasch Starke, who took the title in 2000, and top Italian jockey Mirco Demuro.

Shane Dye will ride for New Zealand, while Australian Damien Oliver and Japan’s Yutake Take will also be in the line-up, along with local rider Douglas Whyte.

The 12-strong list will be completed by an as yet unnamed American rider and the leading Hong Kong rider as at December 7.

Dettori is looking forward to contesting the event at Happy Valley.

“I have many friends in Hong Kong and I always really look forward to returning for the week of the Hong Kong international races,” he said.

“The championship is a unique racing occasion with excellent jockeys participating and I count myself very fortunate to have won it twice already.

“One thing is for sure and that’s the fans at Happy Valley can bet that I will be giving it everything to make it a hat-trick in 2003.”

Whyte, who won the title last year, said: “I was delighted to win for the first time last year and very proud to become the first locally-based rider to achieve the honour.

“It was certainly one of the highlights of my career here to date. I will be going all out to defend my title this year and I’m very much looking forward to the challenge.”

The jockeys will be allocated their mounts in a draw with the winner being the rider who accumulates the most points during three races carrying a 30% prize-money bonus.

The event acts as a curtain raiser to the meeting which take place on December 14 at Sha Tin.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox