Hong Kong has been one of the few nations to continue racing through the COVID-19 pandemic, though trainer Paul O’Sullivan expects the effects of the virus to reach the Asian racing jurisdiction.
Regular trading partner nations throughout Europe and New Zealand have long been a source of private purchases, though with racing halted in those countries, along with many others, potential imports have not been competing.
“I think it will impact the PP (private purchase) guys with what’s happening in England, a good majority of those come from England,” O’Sullivan told the South China Morning Post.
“It’ll limit their choice which will probably impact on the quality of horses coming in and it’ll put everyone back a few months.”
O’Sullivan imports horses from his homeland of New Zealand but said plans for his 2020 batch of Private Purchase Griffins (unraced horses) have been upended.
“We’ve got a lot of horses to trial – potential PPG’s – and they’ve been sitting in a paddock,” he said. “We normally trial our horses in autumn and out of that we’ve always got three or four that look good enough for Hong Kong.”
“It’s not good. I had two or three guys lined up to buy horses and I had the horses earmarked if they trialled well enough, but it’s gone out the window.
“We might be able to sell them in the spring but whether people are prepared to wait that long, I don’t know.”