(PRESS RELEASE) – Three years after initially building bridges with the Barbados Turf Club through a scholarship programme for talented Chinese horsemen and women, the internationally renowned China Horse Club has set its crosshairs on Saturday’s time-honoured Sandy Lane Gold Cup, Barbados’ highest profile race.
The audacious tilt at the USD100,000 feature is also casting a spotlight on Saint Lucia’s fledgling thoroughbred industry overseen by the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club which is a proponent of collaborative support to strength the industry across the region.
“It is rewarding to be in a position to support the Barbados Turf Club as they were supportive of our social responsibility initiative, the CHC China Dream Project,” said Eden Harrington, Vice President of the China Horse Club.
“In 2016, Richard and Gayle Seale represented the Barbados Turf Club in China at one of our feature events and, under our scholarship, talented jockeys Qin Yong and Chen Li were sent to Barbados to ride for a season in 2017. From those initial steps Qin Yong has gone on to a successful riding career in Australia and Chen Li is making a name for himself in Saint Lucia.”
With a script that would do Hollywood proud, Chen Li has returns as one of two riders spearheading an assault on the Barbados Turf Club’s Sandy Lane Gold Cup having overcome a serious riding injury and reenergizing his career.
“Win or lose, it is a fantastic story and demonstrates the value of collaboration,” Harrington added.
“The CHC China Dream Project has a mission statement of providing international opportunities for young Chinese men and women from within China’s thoroughbred industry. The ultimate goal is to see Chinese jockeys on Chinese owned racehorses competing in feature races.
“The Sandy Lane Gold Cup at the Barbados Turf Club sees this goal being achieve. It is very exciting and rewarding for all affiliated with the China Horse Club.”
Chen Li will partner the Deon Visser trainer Colonel’s Pride in the Sandy Lane Gold Cup. The seasoned performer was among the initial batch of horses imported into Saint Lucia in October 2019 and stamped himself as a competitor of note when leading into the straight in the USD150,000 DSH Caribbean Star Limited Pitons Cup. Chen Li’s early move parried the efforts of all his rivals with the exception of the aforementioned Qin Yong who slipped up along the fence aboard Casting Crowns to win the prized contest.
The CHC will also be represented by a second runner in the Sandy Lane Gold Cup in the Robbie Hewetson trained Run Bayou. The gelding will be partnered for James Chau.