The Hong Kong Jockey Club has assessed that attempts to make it possible for Australian-based runners to participate in the 2018 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races should be discontinued.
Work has been underway for several months between the Club, the Australian racing industry and the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to establish a one-off set of arrangements for HKIR pending reinstatement of general protocols for horses to travel from Hong Kong to Australia. Whilst it seems likely that mutually satisfactory arrangements for HKIR could be agreed upon the probable timing of a final decision is such that the Club has assessed that an announcement would not come soon enough and that it would be better for the connections of horses to end the current uncertainty.
Mr. Andrew Harding, Executive Director, Racing, at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “The work to establish a one-off set of arrangements to allow Australian-based runners to participate in this year’s LONGINES Hong Kong International Races have been approached with a great amount of goodwill and effort by all parties and I think it seems highly likely that a mutually satisfactory outcome could have been achieved. However, our assessment is that we are reaching the point where the trainers and owners need to know unequivocally whether their horses could return directly to Australia, and unfortunately that certainty is not yet able to be provided. In the circumstances we believe that it is in the best interests of the connections of the horses that we make the call now that we will not be proceeding any further with establishing special arrangements for Australian-based runners.”