Smiles all round at Happy Valley after record fixture
Racing may have been a different proposition in much of the world this year, with good news at a premium during the Covid-19 pandemic.
But in Hong Kong, there’s plenty around – with the finale of this season’s racing at Happy Valley seeing a turnover record for a fixture at the inner city track.
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The last fixture of the season on July 15 saw turnover of HK$1.6 billion (£160 million).
Overall, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and demonstrations related to the Beijing government’s imposition of draconian curbs on freedom of protest and dissent, turnover was down by only 2.6 per cent year on year for the 2019/20 season.
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “While we recognise that the Coronavirus situation is an ongoing battle, and we must remain vigilant, I can say that it has been heartening to see the Hong Kong community pull together and play a crucial part in combatting its effects; the Hong Kong Jockey Club has been quick to reflect and enact those safeguarding measures and policies while continuing to race.
“We are pleased to have been able to complete a full season but of course our prime focus throughout, and a real challenge, was to act responsibly to protect the public health and safety of our staff, customers and the wider community, at every turn, while at the same time balancing that with the desire for our sport to continue.”
The Jockey Club is Hong Kong’s largest taxpayer, with a bill of more than £1bn paid this year.