Jenny - Clean

THREE Cathay Pacific-sponsored international G2s at Sha Tin today provided the overture for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races on 11 December, and Hong Kong’s star performers were out in force in preparation for the main events.

But the day’s supposed Big Three all played false notes, although none of them left connections without hope of improvement at the CXHKIR themselves.

The greatest sensation was the overthrow of Ambitious Dragon in the Cathay Pacific Jockey Club Mile. Maxime Guyon had a nightmare run on the champion finding himself caught three or four wide throughout and perhaps closer to the lead than he would have liked.

The 2011 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races (CXHKIR) received an overwhelming response when a record number of 88 Group 1 winners were nominated for the flagship event of the Hong Kong racing season which will be held on 11 December.

A spectacular entry list features a total of 311 nominations, the highest number since 2007. Nearly 80 percent of the entries are of Group status, also a record number.

HORSE racing operators have to form other kinds of strategic partnership besides commingling to cope effectively with the strong competitive challenges now being posed by other gaming and leisure entertainment businesses, Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has told an international racing conference in London.

In his keynote speech at the inaugural Leaders in Racing conference, Engelbrecht-Bresges noted that turnover in the global gaming market had seen growth of seven per cent between 2007 and 2010, and projections suggested it would see 14 per cent growth from 2010 to 2013.

HONG KONG Jockey Club CEO and IFHA vice-chairman Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges on Monday, in Paris, chaired a discussion on the “Future Challenges of Racing” at the 45th conference of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

Chairing at this important plenary session, Engelbrecht-Bresges spoke of the importance of “understanding the racing customer’s needs” as he introduced US Jockey Club President Jim Gagliano who outlined the current state and prospective future of thoroughbred breeding and racing in North America and then called on journalists from England, the USA and Australia to offer a media perspective on the future of racing.

THE Royal Western Indian Turf Club has appointed former Racing Queensland Chief Investigator Wayne Wood as Chief Integrity Steward.

Wood, 57, has been working outside of the racing industry in Queensland for five years despite being cleared of unsubstantiated allegations made under Parliamentary Privilege by the National Party during the Daubney-Rafter Racing Inquiry.

Here is a news item from the MUMBAI MIRROR on the Wood appointment:

THE 2010/11 racing season ended in sensational fashion at Sha Tin today (10 July) as more than 62,000 racing fans flocked to the racecourse for our season’s finale, while a host of outstanding racehorses and horsemen were commended for their outstanding achievements this season at the annual Champion Awards Presentation Ceremony.

The excitement continued right up to the final moments of the season with John Moore coming with a storming finish to catch Tony Cruz for the trainers’ championship whose destination was still in the balance until the last few races.

VIVA PATACA is without doubt one of the greatest racehorses ever to have graced the Hong Kong turf.

Following the recent announcement of his retirement after a glorious career that’s spanned six seasons, Hong Kong racegoers will now have their own opportunity to bid the departing hero farewell.

A special presentation ceremony will take place at Sha Tin racecourse on Sunday when connections of the great horse will be thanked for their contributions to his achievements.

AUSTRALIAN jockey Zac Purton has been fined a record-equalling HK$300,000 (A$40,000) for failing to reveal to stewards that he had been approached twice with offers of  'an arrangement' by a punter who has previously been jailed under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.

ALAN AITKEN reports in the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST that Purton's fine equals that issued to Greg Childs after the 2000 Hong Kong Mile, when Sunline's rider was charged with 'engaging in conduct prejudicial to the good reputation of horse racing' for discussing tactics with another rider before the race.

JOCKEY Brett Prebble, denied victory by a mere half length on Lucky Nine in Monday’s BMW Champions Mile, is hoping to go one better in the APQEII Cup and is warming to the prospects of his mount Irian - ironically prepared by John Moore whose Xtension thwarted the jockey three days ago.

“His work is as sharp as it was before the International in December,” Prebble said, referring to Irian’s second to the highly rated Snow Fairy in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup at the end of last year.

DUBAI Duty Free winner Presvis will have to emulate an illustrious stable predecessor Falbrav when he comes back in distance in his bid to win a second international Gr 1 in Hong Kong in tomorrow's BMW Champions Mile.

The Luca Cumani-trained 13 time winner Falbrav dropped back from the 2400m of the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2003 to win the Hong Kong Cup over 2000m, that year, at Sha Tin.

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