Reading the media, it seems we are in a serious economical crisis. Not in Hong Kong though, where investment in the stock market horse racing reached new highs. This article is from the South China Morning Post.
Top-quality day at the races sees betting turnover at six-year high The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races set a new benchmark for quality yesterday, with the highest betting turnover for six years, repeat wins from two of last year’s champions and the anointing of a new middle-distance champion in Cup hero Eagle Mountain.Punters bet more than HK$1 billion on the end-of-year extravaganza, up HK$7.6 million on last year but a significant figure given the economic downturn and current turnover trend – down 3.4 per cent for the season so far.
“This has been an absolutely smashing day,” said Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges. “This was the best atmosphere ever at the Cathay Pacific International Races. This meeting goes from strength to strength and I believe that our visitors from all around the world will be marking the second Sunday in December in their diaries as something not to be missed.” He said caps that were given away at the gates were a huge success, and estimated that 80 per cent of the 52,243 crowd wore them.
“This day has proved our claim that these are the turf world championships,” Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said. “We had tight, world-class racing, we’ve had fairy-tale stories coming true, we’ve had Good Ba Ba establish himself as the best miler in the world and Eagle Mountain confirm that he is the emerging force at the 2,000 metres distance.”
The HK$20 million Hong Kong Cup was described as ” the roughest race I’ve ever ridden in” by Douglas Whyte, with three jockeys – Christophe Soumillon, Garrett Gomez and Ioritz Mendizabal – later suspended for careless riding by stipendiary stewards.