This year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas Day at Newmarket and the Derby Day at Epsom Downs will be classified as World Pool events, according to an announcement by a coalition of horse racing leaders.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club, UK Tote Group, The Jockey Club and its media rights partner, Racecourse Media Group (RMG), confirmed this morning [8 March] that the two meetings will join the five days of Royal Ascot and QIPCO British Champions Day as World Pool events.
John Williamson, Chairman of the UK Tote Group, remarked: “As the UK Tote, we are incredibly proud of our partnership with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and greatly admire the pioneering approach of Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges and the Hong Kong Jockey Club team in bringing together pool betting operators from around the world.
“Having more World Pool days on British race meetings in 2021 highlights the strength and depth of the sport in Great Britain. This was underlined earlier this year when the Juddmonte International Stakes at York Racecourse was confirmed as the Longines top flat race in the world in 2020, with British racing currently staging 22 of the top hundred races, more than any other racing nation.”
“These are challenging times for British racing but with racecourses, media rights companies and the Tote able to come together with international partners to utilise pool betting and showcase British racing to an international audience, we have a crucial opportunity to boost the sport’s fan base and increase betting revenues, this year and beyond.”
The QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby – both highly anticipated and well recognised fixtures on the global horse racing circuit – will run on 1 May and 5 June. The races have proven increasingly popular in Hong Kong in recent years, and will be broadcast in the territory via RMG in cooperation with the Jockey Club, a collaboration which has lasted more than ten years.
Hong Kong turnover has increased by over 118% since 2012, and RMG’s coverage of racing has contributed to the handle having grown by 94% since 2017.
“We were delighted with the first two years of World Pool and are grateful to the Hong Kong Government for approving further simulcast days in 2021,” remarked Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Jockey Club,
“British racing hosts some of the most prestigious racing in the world and we are pleased to be able to extend World Pool to the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Derby racedays, alongside Royal Ascot and British Champions Day. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Tote and all in British racing as we confirm further World Pool days in order to grow pool betting and showcase the best racing in the world to international racing audiences.”
Nick Mills, Chief Commercial Officer at RMG, also said: “RMG is delighted to play its part in ensuring the QIPCO 2000 Guineas Day and Derby Day are World Pool events.
“We look forward to working with The Jockey Club in delivering a truly worldwide betting audience through the Hong Kong Jockey Club and our international network of pool operators. RMG is excited about showcasing more World Pool events from RMG courses in the future.”
The World Pool works to deepen racing pools, smooth pricing and drive ‘an increase in value for customers,’ with racing fans from across the globe betting into one single pool. The initiative saw pools grow by over 400% to 92.2 million at the 2019 edition of Royal Ascot, and contributed a further increase of 50% to £137 million at last year’s event.
Tote customers have benefited from a pool price which beat the Starting Price (SP) by 32% in 2019 and 9% in 2020, as a result of increased liquidity from an international base of bettors.
Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, Nevin Truesdale, commented: “The QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the Derby are two of the most compelling and competitive flat races anywhere in the world, so it is great news that their global appeal for racing fans will be complemented by the opportunity to bet on them through World Pool.
“Our thanks go to the UK Tote Group, Hong Kong Jockey Club and our partners at RMG for their assistance in facilitating this exciting development, one which we hope will add to the enjoyment of two of our flagship fixtures for those watching across the globe.”