Zac Purton sealed the Hong Kong jockeys’ title on Sunday, on a day that saw turnover rise to £186.4 million (HK$1.938 million), the highest ever for an 11-race card, while commingling for the day set a record at £32.2 million (HK$335 million).
Turnover for the 2017-18 season of £11.9 billion (HK$124.2 billion) represents a 5.8% increase year-on-year, while the total amount wagered with commingling partners reached £1.6 billion (HK$16.5 billion); a massive increase of 154.8% on last season’s £625 million (HK$6.5 billion).
Commingling turnover, which includes everything bet into the HK pools from foreign territories, on the season’s final day came in at £32.2 million, around the same amount that the UK wagers on each day of Royal Ascot.
The total turnover for the season, £11.9 billion, is almost three times the amount bet on racing in the UK, where last season’s figure came in at £4.3 billion (HK$44.8 billion).
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “We are delighted with another record season, one of our most exciting seasons both on and off the track.
“That excitement reached a thrilling climax on Sunday, with Zac Purton holding off Joao Moreira’s final push to win the jockeys’ championship. As well as great sport, we also had record turnover for an 11-race meeting, despite receiving 35 millimetres of rain, and that shows the enthusiasm for our product.
“Commingling is quickly changing the global landscape and that is seen in the fact that it made up 13.3 percent of our season’s turnover this year compared to 5.5% last year. Today, we reached a new record of HK$335 million for a single race meeting, a truly extraordinary mark.
“It is now a significant driver to Hong Kong’s turnover and that is due to the ever-increasing international interest in our racing product, which is proving to be attractive as an exciting sports option founded upon the highest integrity.”