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2016 Longines International Jockeys' Championship

horse racing
Winner Hugh Bowman celebrates at Happy Valley in Hong Kong
Date: 12/07/2016

At Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong on Wednesday night, Hugh Bowman won this year's edition of the Longines International Jockeys' Championship, with his 1 win and 1 second and 18 total points in the 4 race competition, taking home the winner's share of the HK$800,000 (US$103,142) purse, giving his first win in the competition after 2 previous tries. Jockeys were awarded 12 points for a win, 6 points for second, and 4 for third, and competed in four races, the first contested at 1000 meters (about 5 furlongs) and the next three at 1650 meters (just over a mile), around the tight right-handed 7 furlong triangular turf course on Hong Kong Island. Irish jockey Ryan Moore finished second with 14 points, followed by a tie for third between Japan-based Mirco Demuro and Keita Tosaki with 12 points each. American representative Florent Geroux was 6th with 8 points.

horse racing
Winner Hugh Bowman and second place finisher Ryan Moore at the trophy presentation.
In the first leg, Bowman settled 5-2 second choice Premiere in 5th early, then rallied late to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths over 29-1 Secret Agent (Florent Geroux) and 2-1 favorite Powermax (Pat Smullen). In the second leg, Ryan Moore aboard 8-5 favorite Giant Turtle stalked the pace in 3rd, then took over in midstretch to win by 1 3/4 lengths over 15-1 Casa Master (Douglas Whyte) and 13-1 Good Choice (Joao Moreira). In the third leg, Mirco Demuro had 8-1 Mutual Joy at the tail of the field for the first 3/4 mile but he passed everybody in the stretch to get up for the win in a photo finish over 2-1 Kiram (Hugh Bowman) and the dead-heat for third between 8-5 favorite Works of Art (Florent Geroux) and 16-1 Midnite Promise (Ryan Moore). Going into the final leg, Bowman led with 18 followed by Moore with 14, Demuro with 12, and Geroux with 8, with any of the 4 having a shot at the win. Douglas Whyte set the pace aboard 12-1 Cheerful Boy but tired late, as 28-1 Big Bang Bong (Keita Kosaki), who had pressed the pace the whole way, rallied to win by 3/4 length over late-runnng 9-2 Vara Pearl (Zac Purton) and Cheerful Boy third. Since the leaders all failed to hit the board, Bowman held on to win the contest "by default".

horse racing
U.S.-based jockey Florent Giroux prior to the first race where he finished second. He finished 6th overall.
Bowman said after the first leg, "He enjoyed the sit off the pace, and came home well. I'm delighted to get off to a winning start." Second leg winner Ryan Moore said, "He went well and did it nicely, It's good to get one on the board." The third leg was much more dramatic with the tight photo. Winner Mirco Demuro said, "It was his first time in blinkers and he was a little bit surprised out of the gate, but there was plenty of pace on, and I was able to ride my race from behind. I had to come wide, but he was very good at the finish." However, Bowman felt his mount Kiram clipped heels with the winner at the 3/16 pole, which "might have cost me the race it's a game of inches." Trainer David Ferraris complained, "He should have won it right there Hugh just had to come off the heels of one at the top of the straight and it held up his momentum. Otherwise he'd have been off and gone and the winner wouldn't have caught him." Despite being well out of contention for the title, fourth leg winner Keita Tosaki said, "I am really happy to have won a race here tonight. The first three races didn't go so well, but I have really enjoyed myself."
horse racing
Hugh Bowman collects his first prize check and a silver whip.

After nailing down his first International Jockeys' Championship, Bowman said, "I thought in the last either I had to beat Ryan or we both had to score no points, and he was on the even money favourite. In the run I was supremely confident that my horse could run a place, but he didn't let down, and I must admit on the line I thought Ryan had run third, so it was an anxious few moments, but we got the victory. I came here quietly confident I could figure, because I had significantly enough rides to score enough points, but you need luck in running. But these competitions are great to come to and compete in what is a little bit more relaxed atmosphere than Cox Plates and Melbourne Cups and the like. On these nights it's all about competing against some great riders and if you can come out on top, so much the better. I've been to a couple of these before but never drew the rides and this is probably the first time I've come to Happy Valley thinking I could win the thing. It has capped off a great 2016."

horse racing
The opening ceremony for the Jockey Championship with all the participants on stage. The jockeys participating were: Hugh Bowman, Ryan Moore, Mirco Demuro, Keita Tosaki, Douglas Whyte, Florent Geroux, Zac Purton, Pat Smullen, Mickael Barzalona, Gavin Lerena, and Derek Leung.

horse racing
The closing ceremony for the Jockey Championship with all the trophies.

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