Flores rides in China this Sunday

Singapore-based US jockey David Flores will be missing from the Kranji action this weekend after he accepted an invitation to ride at a China race meeting on 13 October.

The Zhejiang Nine Dragons Hill National Jockey Invitation Race – 2014 CECF will be the highlight of a special one-off meeting organised by the China Horse Club, the same group behind the inaugural Hohhot race meeting in Inner Mongolia last year.

Tagged as the “first internationally endorsed thoroughbred event in China”, that event held on September 21, 2013 saw three Kranji-based jockeys take out three of the four races, namely Joao Moreira, Danny Beasley and Soo Khoon Beng.

Flores, who recently rode successfully in Korea when he steered El Padrino to victory in the inaugural Asia Challenge Cup, is the sole Singapore Turf Club guest jockey invited this year at the China Horse Club event, which is also supported by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and will be held at Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club, an hour away from Shanghai.

The China Horse Club, headed by its Chairman, Mr Teo Ah Khing, is a global lifestyle, business and thoroughbred racing club spread across countries like Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, France, Italy, USA, South Africa and of course Singapore where they won last year’s Longines Singapore Gold Cup with Tropaios.

The CHC said that this weekend’s race meeting will give Chinese riders a chance to compete alongside invited international jockeys with the intent of identifying young riding talents from across China.

To illustrate the emergence of their racing empire, the CHC has already joined forces with leading racing outfit Coolmore, co-owning high-profile horses such as Australia, this year’s Epsom Derby winner and Muravka, the dam of The Wow Signal, Europe’s leading two-year-old.

Not much is known about the other jockeys taking part at Sunday’s meeting, but English jockey Darryll Holland, who did ride at last year’s Hohhot meeting, was again invited this year.

Also not answering the Kranji roll call this weekend is recent Panasonic Kranji Mile winning rider Beasley (War Affair) who has gone back to Australia for holidays. He was actually invited to the CHC event again this year but had to decline as he had already planned his trip.