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Hong Kong trainer licensing criteria for extensions beyond standard retirement age

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (The Club) has revised the performance criteria for eligibility to apply for a licensing extension beyond the standard retirement age.

The Club regularly reviews the licensing policy and principles, according to the Club’s overall development vision and the latest global and regional racing environment.

As decided by the Board of Stewards in setting the racing strategy Racing Vision 2030, the Club has reviewed the licensing policy and criteria regarding licence extensions.

Club’s Executive Director, Racing Andrew Harding said, “The revised performance criteria for eligibility to apply for a licence extension beyond the standard retirement age results from our most recent review of the licensing policy, ensuring its alignment with the Club’s strategic objectives. The Club is entering a period of new growth that will be both exciting and complex. Between now and the end of 2030 we will permanently expand the footprint of the Club’s racing, and at the same time carry out some of the most large-scale capital works projects ever undertaken. Over this period we will carry out the next major phases of the Conghua Racecourse (CRC) development, including construction of a grandstand, stabling capacity for an extra 400 horses, and additional state-of-the-art training and rehabilitation facilities. We are simultaneously preparing for the introduction of regular racing at CRC, establishing a triangle of racing across our three racecourses. We will also undertake a complete refurbishment of the stables complex at Sha Tin, ensuring the continuous upgrade of our assets to meet the future needs of trainers.

“The two new licences that have been announced by the Licensing Committee during the course of this season demonstrates that the Club is continuing to attract world-class talent from overseas, while also promoting high-potential local talents. It will be important that over the period from now to 2030 we also retain a number of high-performing and elite trainers who make a significant contribution to successfully training higher-quality horses, which are key to our strategic objective of world-class racing, and provide this level of services to owners whose investments are key to the quality of our racing. Those trainers who have a proven capacity to successfully operate dual-site training operations will be especially important as we enter this next phase of development, including the significant complexity that the Sha Tin refurbishment will create,” Mr Harding added.

These are the criteria applicable to a trainer being eligible to continue to train beyond the age of 65 (changes shown in italics):-

a)      Finished in the top 5 of the Club’s Trainers’ Championships at the conclusion of each of the three (3) racing seasons prior to reaching the age of 65; or

b)      Finished in the top 5 prize-money earners in the Club’s Trainers’ Championship at the conclusion of each of the three (3) racing seasons prior to reaching the age of 65; or

c)      Have won a Trainers’ Championship at the conclusion of any one (1) of the preceding three (3) racing seasons prior to reaching the age of 65; or

d)      Have achieved a 3-year rolling average of no less than 4.0 individual Class 2 or above (including 4-YO series races) winners across the preceding three (3) racing seasons, plus either one of the following:
     i. Won a Trainers’ Championship in any one (1) of the preceding five (5) racing seasons prior to reaching the age of 65; or
     ii. Finished in the top 5 of the Club’s Trainers’ Championships (either number of winners or prize-money) at the conclusion of any one (1) of the preceding three (3) racing seasons prior to reaching the age of 65.

The Club also approved new criteria applicable for a trainer to be able to continue to train beyond the age of 70 (until the age of 73 subject to satisfying the continued performance monitoring criterion):

a)      Has won multiple Training Championships in Hong Kong; and

b)      Has achieved a 3-year rollingaverage of no less than four (4) individual Pattern Race (International Group races and 4YO series races) first three placings across the preceding three (3) racing seasons; and

c)      i. Has finished in the top 5 of the Club’s Trainers’ Championships at the conclusion of each of the three (3) preceding racing seasons; or
    ii. Has finished in the top 5 prize-money earners in the Club’s Trainers’ Championship at the conclusion of each of the three (3) preceding racing seasons.

For a trainer to further extend his licence beyond the age of 73 (until the age of 75):

a)      Continue to have achieved a 3-year rolling average of no less than four (4) individual Pattern Race (International Group races and 4-YO series races) first three placings across the preceding three (3) racing seasons; and

b)      Have achieved either one of the following:
     i. Won a Trainer’s Championship in any one (1) of the three (3) racing seasons during the extension of trainer’s licence beyond the age of 70; or
     ii. Have finished in the top 3 of the Club’s Trainers’ Championships (either number of winners or prize-money) at the conclusion of each of the three (3) racing seasons during the extension of trainer’s licence beyond the age of 70.

It is a basic requirement for any trainer who submits an application to train beyond the age of 65/70 that they must have been a “dual-site” trainer (Hong Kong/Conghua) for the preceding three (3) racing seasons.

The Licensing Committee would assess potentially eligible Trainers at least two seasons before they reach the age of 65/70 respectively. Any trainer who is granted an extension of licence beyond the age of 65/70 is required to continue to meet the relevant performance criteria for consecutive racing seasons including the racing season in which he reaches the respective age. Any failure to meet the requirements may result in the trainer not being granted a further licence.

Trainer Ricky Yiu and Francis Lui

Ricky Yiu
The Licensing Committee has resolved that Ricky Yiu, who meets the criteria, is eligible for an extension beyond the conclusion of the 2022/23 racing season. As such, Yiu is eligible for an extension until the conclusion of the 2027/28 racing season, provided he continues to achieve the benchmarks set down by the Club.

Francis Lui
The Licensing Committee has resolved that Francis Lui, who meets the criteria, is eligible for an extension beyond the conclusion of the 2023/24 racing season. As such, Lui is eligible for an extension until the conclusion of the 2028/29 racing season, provided he continues to achieve the benchmarks set down by the Club.

Trainer Ricky Yiu, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club

 

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