Hong Kong Jockey Club expands World Pool after strong racing season

Lea Hogg 7 months ago
Hong Kong Jockey Club expands World Pool after strong racing season

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has its sights set on expanding its successful World Pool offering for UK and Ireland races after a robust 2023 racing season. Despite a slight dip from the previous year, the HKJC generated an impressive HK$4.7 billion in turnover, marking a remarkable 19.6 percent year-on-year increase.

Record turnover in the UK and Ireland

This year’s World Pool UK and Ireland offering featured 19 races, including prestigious events like the Lockinge, the Irish Derby (in photo above), and the Sun Chariot, making their debut in the World Pool line-up. Prize money across the 131 World Pool races in the UK and Ireland reached a record high of £32 million. The international pari-mutuel pool is accessible through various channels, including the Tote, racecourses, online platforms and the Tote App, indicating its popularity among racing enthusiasts in the region.

Ambitious growth plans

Michael Fitzsimons, the Executive Director of Wagering Products at the HKJC, expressed satisfaction with World Pool’s reception in the UK and Ireland and noted the potential for further expansion. The HKJC aims to introduce World Pool to more of the season’s flagship race days, demonstrating their commitment to enhancing the racing experience.

Fitzsimons extended his appreciation to the UK Tote, Racecourse Media Group and Ascot Racecourse for their enduring partnership and contributions to the continued success of World Pool.

Global success and record turnover

World Pool’s success is not limited to the UK and Ireland. Meetings in locations such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Australia have all reported record-breaking turnover numbers during 2023. Additionally, two more World Pool meetings, Cox Plate Day and Victoria Derby Day, are scheduled in Australia this year.

A major achievement in Australia was achieved with this year’s Caulfield Cup, setting a new record for the highest turnover on a World Pool race with HK$54.2 million wagered into the pool. This eclipsed the HKD$51.5 million bet on the previous weekend’s Everest as a result of the growing popularity of World Pool. Only two other World Pool races in 2023, the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes and the Dubai World Cup, featured larger pools, showcasing the global impact and reach of this innovative racing concept.

Hong Kong Jockey Club’s recent philantropic event

The “Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum,” organized by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, concluded recently with a call for global collaboration to address the pressing issue of global inequality. The event brought together nearly 70 prominent speakers and 1,600 delegates, featuring discussions on key challenges such as wealth inequality, inflation, technological disruption, climate change and urbanization. Notable speakers included Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee and former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

During the forum, The Hong Kong Jockey Club also announced the establishment of the Institute of Philanthropy (IoP), with an initial funding of HK$5 billion, to strengthen philanthropic knowledge and professionalism in the region and beyond.

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