Hong Kong Mile Inquiry Friday; Newspaper Issues Statement

Stewards of the Hong Kong Jockey Club have scheduled an inquiry for Friday into quotes attributed to jockey Greg Childs following his winning ride aboard the New Zealand mare Sunline in the Hong Kong Mile.

The inquiry centers around a Sydney Morning Herald article with quotes attributed to Childs concerning a pre-race discussion he had with Justin Sheehan, rider of eventual Mile third-place finisher Adam. According to the article, Childs said, "I spoke to Justin and said, 'Look, we can't cut each others throat and challenge for the lead.' Justin agreed. I just told him to follow me. He (Sheehan) knew Adam wouldn't have been able to beat Sunline, she is world-class, but it worked out perfect for everyone."

The HKJC initiated an inquiry into the comments attributed to Childs to determine whether any racing rules were violated.

As part of its probe into the incident, the HKJC requested reporter Darren Prendergast attend the inquiry. The HKJC reported that request was turned down by the newspaper, citing a long-standing policy to refuse such requests.

As a followup to the newspaper's rejection of the request to attend the inquiry, the HKJC asked for a letter stating that the Morning Herald stood by its Dec. 19 story. According to the HKJC, the Morning Herald reported Dec. 21: "In an article on the Hong Kong Mile horse race, Darren Prendergast misinterpreted comments by the winning jockey, Greg Childs, as an admission by Childs that he had devised a race plan with another jockey, J. Sheehan, who rode the third-place horse. Childs made no such admission. The Herald apologizes to Childs and Sheehan for any embarrassment caused."

According to the HKJC, "At this time, the stewards have no intention or indeed any reason to seriously consider rolling this inquiry out into one which involves any thoughts of so-called race fixing. The inquiry will center around the alleged statements made by jockeys Childs and whether or not those comments or any approach made by Childs to Sheehan constitute a breach of the rules of racing of the Hong Kong Jockey Club."