Bloodstock agents have welcomed the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s “recalibration” of its rating eligibility for tried horses purchased to race in the Asian jurisdiction, believing the lowering of the handicap will increase the pool of horses available and benefit both buyers and sellers.
The competition for raced horses, particularly from Australia and New Zealand, has had a significant inflationary effect on the price of those who fitted the Hong Kong 70 rating criteria which has been in place in recent seasons.
It has led to bloodstock agents often bidding against each other for the same horses and leaving some orders from Hong Kong permit holders unfilled due to being unable to secure suitable racehorses. But earlier this year the HKJC announced it was reducing the required rating from 70 to 68, much to the relief of agents who act for Hong Kong buyers as well as trainers and owners who trade horses to Asia.
The change applies to owners who were successful in the HKJC ballot held earlier this month where 440 permits were granted, 150 of which apply to private purchases, or previously raced horses. Owners granted permits in previous years must still fill their slot with Hong Kong 70-rated horses.