Growth of co-mingling turnover for LONGINES HKIR meeting at Sha Tin
The growth of international co-mingling was dramatically displayed at the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Chief Executive Officer, announced at the conclusion of the meeting that co-mingling wagering returned a record for the day at HK$72.8 million. "Our co-mingling figure was an increase of more than 40% on last year which accounts for 4.8% of the day's total turnover,” he said.
“This shows again that we think our strategy of world-class racing, including beaming the races around the world, giving customers the opportunity to bet into the largest per-race tote pools in the world, is the right strategy,” he added.
The ten race programme, including the HK$16.5m, Group 1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m), HK$18.5m LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), HK$23m, LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and HK$25m, LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) was broadcast around the world.
The results of those races were shared by Hong Kong stables with Aerovelocity (NZ) winning the Sprint and Beauty Only (IRE) the Mile, both ridden by Zac Purton, with Japanese runners taking the Vase with Satono Crown (JPN) and Maurice (JPN) in the Cup.
A total of 53 horses competed in the four LONGINES HKIR contests this year, 26 from overseas, and a total of 23 Group 1 winners.
A record crowd of 100,700 watched the races on-course in Hong Kong with this figure the highest ever for this meeting and up 17.4% on last year. Turnover for the meeting was HK$1.518 billion, an increase of 4.7% on last year.
"This was one of the most astonishing days of international racing we have seen in Hong Kong," said Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges.
"To give some context, ten years ago, this meeting had turnover of just HK$930 million and a crowd of 56,000. Our commitment to excellence and to promoting the international element of the sport has clearly been well-received by our customers, both here in Hong Kong and around the world."
Japan's champion trainer Noriyuki Hori became the first overseas handler to win a double at the LONGINES HKIR thanks to Satono Crown and Maurice, the first horse to win the Mile and then follow-up in the Cup the following year since the races took on Group 1 status.
"The performances of the horses on the track today were world class," Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said.
"If you look at Maurice in the Cup, it was a world champion's performance.
"I would especially like to thank all owners, trainers and jockeys who have come here and made this such a great day of sport - and I would especially like to thank our friends from Japan, particularly the Yoshida family who brought their superstar, Maurice, here to Hong Kong for his career-crowning performance before he goes to stud.”
Mr Anthony Kelly, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Executive Director, Racing Business and Operations, said: "On Wednesday evening at Happy Valley we had over 29,000 people in attendance, and we had more than HK$1.2 billion in turnover, so between four days in Hong Kong we've had 130,000 race goers and HK$2.8 billion in turnover on 19 races, so that speaks for itself.”
Mr Andrew Harding, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Executive Director, Racing Authority, said: "We've been privileged to see the calibre of jockeys that have competed both on Wednesday and today. If we consider this, we've seen the LONGINES/IFHA World's Best Jockey and numbers two and three in that list, as well as a score of other jockeys that are amongst the best in the world. They're superb athletes, and we've been truly privileged to see them."