The bright lights of Happy Valley greeted the world’s top equestrian riders Wednesday as the clock ticks down towards this weekend’s Longines Masters of Hong Kong.
FEI World Number 1 Daniel Deusser was joined trackside by World Number 5 Simon Delestre, World Number 15 Roger-Yves Bost and local star Jacqueline Lai as they took in a spectacular night of midweek racing action – and caught up with their jockey teammates ahead of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong’s unique The Hong Kong Jockey Club Race of the Riders event on Friday.
The event teams these top show jumpers with the city’s favourite jockeys Joao Moreria, Neil Callan, Derek Leung and Vincent Ho were on hand to show their guests around the weighing room and the mounting yard - and to give them a little insight into horse racing, Hong Kong-style.
It was the first time the top-ranked Deusser had visited the iconic Happy Valley – and he couldn’t hide his enthusiasm.
“I’ve seen it before from overseas but there’s nothing like the real thing – it’s incredible,” he said. “It is always amazing to me to see jockeys in action as we do the same thing – we ride horses – but each of us do something that is completely different as well.”
Lai will be flying the flag for the locals across the weekend and the Hong Kong Jockey Club-sponsored rider said she was happy to be come – and ready for the challenge.
“It was a thrill for me riding at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong last year and I am proud to be riding again for Hong Kong in front of my family and friend and all the fans,” she said. “I really want to put on a good show again and give everyone something to cheer for.”
The 2017 HKJC Race of the Riders will take place this Friday night at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong at AsiaWorld-Expo at 6:45pm.