IT’S showtime at Happy Valley on Wednesday when the inner-city track hosts the International Jockeys’ Championship, a four-race format with £50,000 and trophy to the winning jockey.
With a galaxy of star jockeys from around the world, including English contingent Tom Marquand, Hollie Doyle, Ryan Moore and William Buick, as well as local favourites Joao Moreira and Zac Purton, the competition will be fast and furious.
The local jockeys will start with an obvious advantage having already ridden around the tight turning circuit, often described as one of the most difficult race-tracks to adapt and get used to in the world.
Moore and Doyle are the early market leaders with the odds-compilers, having drawn good rides in all four races – 12.10pm, 12.40pm, 1.40pm and 2.10pm – with points allocated to the first three places.
Both jockeys feature strongly in the fourth and final leg of the competition (2.10pm), a Class 3 six-furlong handicap sprint.
Doyle is aboard the exciting David Hayes-trained prospect Harmony N Blessed, who blew away his opposition when winning in a canter on his debut at Sha Tin late last month.
He is likely to be one of the most popular favourites of the day, but an upgrade in class and a nine-pound penalty tempers enthusiasm somewhat.
A more attractive proposition looks to be the Moore-ridden and hat-trick seeking GRATEFUL HEART, who has the all-important inside draw.
He produced an impressive win last three weeks ago, which, time-wise, was up to Class 2 standard.
Grateful Heart 2.10pm Happy Valley