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Hong Kong Jockey Club ends Soumillon contract

CHRISTOPHE SOUMILLON'S contract to ride in Hong Kong this year was abruptly ended on Friday after the Hong Kong Jockey Club's licensing committee rebuffed the jockey's latest attempt to have the dates of his stay amended.

Christophe Soumillon

Christophe Soumillon: popular

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

Soumillon, who has become a popular figure in six previous visits to Hong Kong, was due to start riding on a club licence this week that was to run until March 27, but put in a request last week to delay his appearance by nearly three weeks because he needed a pin removed from the elbow he fractured in a fall in September.

Yet in further correspondence on Thursday the jockey asked, via his manager, to be released from his riding contract at the end of February so that he could return to France to take up his new commitment with trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, while at the same time saying he could ride in Hong Kong from January 16, eight days earlier than he had previously indicated, a request the licensing authority would not agree to.

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