HONG KONG - Top Canadian jockey Chantal Sutherland may not be favoured to win the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys' Championship Wednesday, but she has become a fan favourite since arriving in Hong Kong.
Sutherland, 33, the only woman among a dozen competitors, has been dubbed "Pretty Lady in Pink" in the city's traditional naming contest for foreign jockeys - owing to her looks and trademark pink boots and outfit.
The rider and part-time model captured local media attention which has focused almost exclusively on her appearance.
"She is the only female jockey racing tonight, and she's very pretty too," a Hong Kong Jockey Club spokeswoman said.
Sutherland, who has posed for Vogue magazine and been voted one of People magazine's most beautiful people, brings more than 450 wins in Canada and the United States to the track Wednesday night.
The star of reality TV series Jockeys has no intention of walking away empty-handed.
"Like anything, you have to be in the race to win it, and I truly believe in my heart that I can win any race," Sutherland told a press conference in the southern Chinese city.
French rider Christophe Lemaire, the runner up in 2008, has been posted as tonight's favourite, which will also feature last year's winner Douglas Whyte. The three-race series precedes Sunday's Hong Kong International Races, one of the world's foremost horse racing events with a total purse of about eight million US dollars (S$11.14 million).