By Jon Lees
Hong Kong: Christophe Soumillon is to join the Hong Kong jockey colony for the winter after being granted a licence for two months from mid-December.
Soumillon has not ridden since he was forced to stand down from commitments at the Breeders’ Cup after failing a mandatory Covid-19 test.
As a result the Belgian, who was not showing any symptoms at the time of the test, had to spend the meeting in isolation while the two horses he was due to ride at Keeneland, Tarnawa and Order Of Australia, went on to capture the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Mile respectively. Colin Keane rode Tarnawa and Pierre-Charles Boudot was on Order Of Australia.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club said Soumillon was due to arrive in Hong Kong on Thursday to begin quarantine and will be ready to ride from December 13 – the date of the Longines Hong Kong International Races – until the licence expires of February 13.
A statement said: “Jockey Soumillon is scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong on 26th November and will undertake the mandatory 14 days quarantine period under the Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E).
“Jockey Soumillon is presently in the UAE. Nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS CoV2) PCR Tests on 12th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd November have been negative.”
Soumillon has enjoyed previous successful stints in Hong Kong. In March this year he became the most successful jockey in French history when he won his 3,315th race at Compiegne, surpassing the total of wins established by Yves Saint-Martin.
• More about the Longines Hong Kong International Races at the HKJC website