Hong Kong Champions Day delivers increased co-mingling turnover

The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Champions Day at Sha Tin on Sunday demonstrated the powerful influence of co-mingling turnover with an increase of 133% announced by the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, after the successful meeting.

Pakistan Star (GER) and William Buick winning the Group 1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, picture Liesl King
Pakistan Star (GER) and William Buick winning the Group 1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, picture Liesl King

Champions Day turnover was the highest ever for the QEII Cup day, up by 6.4% on the same day last year.

"We had turnover of HK$1.526 billion," Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said. "One of the key drivers of the positive increase is definitely co-mingling. With co-mingling, we had a figure of HK$244 million, which is up 133% on 2017.

"It shows that obviously these international events attract worldwide attention and that the quality of our racing and this race meeting is attractive worldwide. We have received the feedback we were hoping for."

The meeting was the first time that the Hong Kong Jockey Club had held its three feature spring Group 1 races, the Champions Mile (1600m), Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) and Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) on the one day. The success of the move to hold the features together was noted by Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges.

"Today our three Champions Day features showed exactly what world-class Group 1 racing is all about. It was a great day of racing, it was quality racing and the success shows the strength and depth in the sport here in Hong Kong,” he said.

"I think that is something we can build on to make this day and this meeting even more successful, and, going forward, I would like to see more international competition, that is something we can see happening.”

Local fans flocked to the track with a total of 48,242 race-goers attending the meeting.

The features included runners from Hong Kong, Japan and Dubai.

Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges thanked the two of the world's heavyweight racing entities for their Champions Day support.

"I extend the Jockey Club's thanks to Godolphin and Sunday Racing for bringing top-class horses - Blue Point, Fine Needle, Al Ain and Danburite - to compete here today. We appreciate their patronage of one of our most important race days," he said.

Hong Kong provided the winners of all three features with the John Moore trained Beauty Generation (NZ) winning the Champions Mile, John Size trained Ivictory (AUS) winning the Chairman’s Sprint Prize and crowd favourite Pakistan Star (GER) the QEII Cup.

All three runners will likely feature in the next edition of the LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings with both Ivictory and Pakistan Star increasing their ratings to world class level.

The international aspect of the meeting was also emphasised by the three runners being bred in three separate racing jurisdictions, New Zealand, Australia and Germany, while Hong Kong’s Zac Purton rode the first two winners and UK’s William Buick rode Pakistan Star after being partnered with the runner just 24 hours before the race.