Three Jockeys Share HK Jockeys' Title
Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club
Ryan Moore (left), Christophe Lemaire (middle) and John Murtagh (right), celebrate their success at the presentation ceremony.

Three European-based jockeys -- Christophe Lemaire, John Murtagh and Ryan Moore – posted one victory each to share the top spot in the Dec. 9 Cathay Pacific International Jockeys' Championship at Hong Kong's Happy Valley Raecourse.

As a result of sharing the top honors, they will each share the HK$300,000 prize money equally.

Lemaire, who missed part of the European fall season with a back injury before recovering to the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) with Vodka, won the opening leg on Bobo Win by 1 3/4 lengths. The French rider will miss the Dec. 13 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International races at Sha Tin because he will be serving a four-day suspension from Japanese stewards for careless riding in Tokyo.

In the second leg of the three-race contest, Murtagh guided favorite Master Dreamer up inside the final 200 meters to win by 1 1/2 lengths. In the thrid race, Moore and Mings' Hero nosed out German rider Andreas Suborics.

"Winning here is much appreciated after my misfortunes of last weekend in Japan, Lemaire said in a release from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. There is a special atmosphere at Happy Valley and I really enjoy riding here. It was a great thrill to share it with Johnny and Ryan."

"This three-way tie is a great result, Murtagh was quoted as saying. I tried my utmost to get a place in the last but just couldn't. The handicapper has done a very good job, and made this event very competitive."

"It was nice to win here, said Moore, who was landing his first victory at Happy Valley. Happy Valley hasn't been lucky for me in the past but I was riding lucky number 8. I am only sorry that I couldn't have laid up closer on my mounts in the first two legs."

North American-based jockeys Chantal Sutherland and Joe Talamo participated in the competition.

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