Silvestre De Sousa and Tom Marquand share top jockey prize in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Longines International Jockeys’ Championship was shared for the first time since 2009 with nothing to split Tom Marquand and Silvestre De Sousa at Happy Valley.

All four races in the International Jockeys' Championship were won by different riders, but it was Marquand and De Sousa who shared the trophy and picked up a cheque for HK$350,000 each on account of partnering a fourth placed horse apiece. 

Vincent Ho, who will bid for a third straight Hong Kong Mile aboard Golden Sixty on Sunday, struck first aboard Handsome Rebel and he was soon joined at the top of the standings on 12 points by fellow Hong Kong-based rider Derek Leung after he partnered Win Win Fighter to success in leg two - replacing Mickael Barzalona who had tested positive for Covid-19.

Then it was the turn of Marquand and De Sousa who rode Winning Dragon and Adios respectively in legs three and four to leave a four-way tie at the top of the table meaning extra measures were required to determine a winner.

"To finish joint-top with Silvestre is pretty epic," said Marquand, who finished tied for second behind Zac Purton 12 months ago.

"He's been champion jockey back home, he works so hard and is someone you look up to in the weighing room.

"It's a huge honour and sometimes you have to pinch yourself that these things are happening."

De Sousa, who won the IJC in 2018, added: "I never say die and I was just thrilled to win for Frankie (Lor, trainer) because he has supported me here since day one. I thought Adios in the final leg was my best chance and he has come out and proved that.

"I'm just delighted. It's my second time winning and I finished placed another time. In the last leg I just felt the crowd and although it was a long last half furlong, thank God he got his head down and we gave it everything."

It is the third time there has been joint winners of the event. Christophe Lemaire, Ryan Moore and Johnny Murtagh shared the spoils in 2009, while Christophe Soumillon and Yutaka Take could not be separated in 2004.

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