11/30/2010 1:33PM

Peslier to take Soumillon's place in jockey competition


Olivier Peslier will replace Christophe Soumillon in the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys Championship at Happy Valley on Dec. 8. The Hong Kong Jockey Club made the announcement on Tuesday, one day after Soumillon was suspended for four days by the Japan Racing Association for careless riding aboard Buena Vista in the Japan Cup.

The Hong Kong jockeys competition will now have a decidedly French flavor, as three of the 12 participants hail from France. In addition to Peslier, the three-race series under the lights at the bandbox-like Happy Valley will include Christophe Lemaire and the Franco-American Julien Leparoux, who will represent the United States. The 37-year-old Peslier is having himself a banner year, having ridden Goldikova to five Group or Grade 1 victories, among them her third Breeders’ Cup Mile. He also rode Harbinger to his 11-length victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in what was probably the best performance by a Thoroughbred anywhere in the world this year.

Snow Fairy to go in Hong Kong Cup

Trainer Ed Dunlop has decided to run three-time Group or Grade 1 winner Snow Fairy in the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Cup rather than the 1 1/2-mile Hong Kong Vase on Dec. 12 at Sha Tin. The 3-year-old filly added the 1 3/8-mile Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup to her 2010 victories in the English and Irish Oaks, European classics that are both run at 1 1/2 miles. Her defection from the Vase makes things a bit easier for the Christophe Clement-trained Winchester, the winner of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic who is scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong on Dec. 7. Slated to face Winchester in the Vase are Melbourne Cup winner Americain, eight-time Hong Kong Group 1 winner Viva Pataca, Canadian International winner Joshua Tree, and Northern Dancer Turf winner Redwood, plus European Group 1 winners Jakkalberry, Mastery and Scalo, and Japanese Grade 1 winner Jaguar Mail.