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Winner Silvestre de Sousa celebrates at Happy Valley in Hong Kong
At Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong on Wednesday night, British-based but Brazilian-born rider Silvestre de Sousa won this year's edition of the Longines International Jockeys' Championship, with his 2 wins and 34 total points in the 4 race competition, taking home the winner's share of the HK$800,000 (US$102,390) purse, giving his first win in the competition before the 30,174 fans in attendance. Jockeys were awarded 12 points for a win, 6 points for second, and 4 for third, and competed in four races, three carded at 1650 meters (just over a mile) and one (the first leg) at 1000 meters (about 5 furlongs) around the tight right-handed 7 furlong triangular turf course on Hong Kong Island. Ireland's Colin Keane finished second with 16 points, followed by a tie for third between local rider Vincent Ho and American representative Javier Castellano with 12 points each, however since Ho had 1 win while Castellano had none (he finished 2nd in 2 legs) Ho wins the "tiebreaker" and collected the third place check.
It was a close finish in the third leg of the competition.
Jockey Silvestre de Sousa after winning final race of the competition.
Winning jockey Silvestre de Sousa is presented with his trophy.
After nailing down his first International Jockeys' Championship and his HK$500,000 (US$64,000) check, de Sousa said, "I have to pinch myself that it all went so smoothly tonight, you can't buy moments like this. The atmosphere was amazing, and you could hear the crowd cheering behind you. Obviously you need luck on a night like this, but to beat jockeys of the quality in this field is something really special."
Javier Castellano, the only American representative, finished in a tie for 3rd. Due to an interference incident inside the 1/8 pole during the 3rd leg when Curling Luxury bore out, Castellano received a 4 day suspension for careless riding to be served from December 26-29. Japan's Yutaka Take received the same penalty for an interference incident at the 3/16 pole aboard Lucky Lucky in the same race.
The opening ceremony fireworks for the Jockey Championship. A record HK$1.348 billion (US$172.6 million) was bet on the 9 race card. he jockeys participating were: Silvestre de Sousa, Colin Keane, Vincent Ho, Javier Castellano, Ryan Moore, Matthew Poon, Karis Teetan, Mickael Barzalona, Yutaka Take, Hugh Bowman, Christophe Lemaire, and Zac Purton.
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