The Hong Kong Jockey Club continues to plan ahead for the LONGINES HKIR meeting at Sha Tin on December 8th after the meeting at Happy Valley on Wednesday night was cancelled due to civil unrest this week in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Jockey Club Chief Executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges will present a risk assessment to all international connections but remains ‘cautiously optimistic we will have a good line-up’ for the HKIR meeting reported scmp.com on Thursday.
Engelbrecht-Bresges expects there to be more clarity about the situation early next week because the Jockey Club will have a “better picture from a risk assessment” point of view after Sunday’s meeting at Sha Tin.
“We still have a plan to continue on with HKIR, we will brief all the international connections about the risk assessment we have,” he told scmp.com.
“There may be a chance that some people decide not to come, which I think we have to respect. But we are cautiously optimistic we will have a good line-up.”
Engelbrecht-Bresges said that planning was also continuing for the Interntional Jockey Championship which is held at Happy Valley on the Wednesday prior to the Sunday HKIR meeting.
“It’s a very fluid situation and we have to think about contingency plans for this too,” he said.
“We have to explore those with the government because if we decide to change venues, there is a consultation process that will take over a week because multiple departments need to be involved.”
Engelbrecht-Bresges reiterated that Wednesday’s meeting was cancelled because of the challenges in getting staff home safely late at night, not in transporting the horses to and from Happy Valley.
“Bringing people home at night is very, very difficult so we have to put people, especially our staff, first,” Engelbrecht-Bresges said.
“The situation can change from day-to-day and hour-to-hour. It’s something we have to monitor.”
HKIR meeting at Sha Tin, picture ThoroughbredNEWS