Neil Callan’s fine run of form has fired him into contention for the coveted final spot in the Longines International Jockeys’ Championship and at Happy Valley on Wednesday he will attempt to seal his place from five rides in the eight races left to play out.
The Irishman has bagged three doubles for six wins from his last four race meetings to leap-frog his rivals and occupy the coveted sixth spot designated to Hong Kong-based riders. He and Vagner Borges each have 11 wins for the term but Callan has the edge over the Brazilian on a countback with 12 seconds to Borges’ six.
“If we get through tomorrow (Wednesday) night and we get some luck, or nobody else gets an advantage on me and the results stays the same, then hopefully I’ll be happy. If it does happen, it does: if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” Callan said.
This year, the Hong Kong Jockey Club elected for a half-and-half split of competitors in the 12-jockey competition on 9 December. Six jockeys from overseas and six based in Hong Kong will vie for the most lucrative jockeys’ challenge winner’s cheque in the world – HK$500,000 – and Callan, along with Alexis Badel who sits fifth in the local premiership, could join Zac Purton, Joao Moreira, Karis Teetan and Vincent Ho as Hong Kong’s representatives.
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