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A whole different world: Hong Kong with a new record!

What a different world! Hong Kong has always been the betting El Dorado in gallop racing. Even during the toughest Corona times, turnover was achieved here without spectators on site climbing to dizzying heights. Even at the Hong Kong International Races, all was not as it used to be in terms of visitors and the measures that apply in China were noticeable. But 45,000 people were allowed to attend the four million-dollar invitational races at Sha Tin Racecourse, and the betting volume was a new record.

208 million euros flowed through the coffers of the Hong Kong Jockey Club in the ten races of the day. Unbelievable and hats off, one can only say. No wonder that Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of the HKJC, was more than thrilled in his first assessment. He celebrated the HKIR 2022 as a celebration of world-class racing and Hong Kong`s incredible "Can Do" spirit. We quote from the info:

"On a day when Hong Kong racing shone on the international stage as local champions Wellington (LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint), California Spangle (LONGINES Hong Kong Mile) and Romantic Warrior (LONGINES Hong Kong Cup) won three of the four Group 1 races, Japan also continued its successful record at the Turf World Championships with Win Marilyn (LONGINES Hong Kong Vase)."

Engelbrecht-Bresges paid tribute to Hong Kong`s ability to deliver world-class performances with a horse population of just 1,250 as more than 45,000 fans flocked to Sha Tin and Happy Valley - the largest crowd in three years - to take part in a "Celebration of Champions".

"Today is about sport, today is about world-class racing and today is about celebrating champions," Engelbrecht-Bresges said. "Today Hong Kong showed that we have world-class quality. It`s amazing that we only have 1,250 horses in training - that`s 0.8 per cent of the world`s horse population, and it`s amazing how many quality horses we have in Hong Kong that are world leaders."

Engelbrecht-Bresges thanked the international and local owners, trainers and jockeys, as well as the Club`s staff for hosting a memorable meeting. "I would like to thank our team who did an absolutely outstanding job because what the team achieved made me very proud as CEO because that is the Hong Kong Knger `Can Do` spirit and that is the excellence of the Hong Kong Jockey Club - and we never give up," he said.

"I would like to thank the Hong Kong government for their tremendous support in allowing us to host such a global event - because it is a truly global event that takes place in 80 countries and people who love horse racing around the world are focused on Hong Kong. We are on the world stage, we are world leaders, and we can do things that very few others can do."

Reflecting on Hong Kong`s haul of winning three of the four G1 races, Engelbrecht-Bresges said, "Wellington has shown he is one of the best sprinters in the world, and the `Golden Generation` of California Spangle and Romantic Warrior have proven they can compete on the world stage. Romantic Warrior put in the best 2000-metre performance I`ve seen in a long time against world-class competition, and I want to pay tribute to Golden Sixty, because even in defeat, he showed that he is a champion. Today is really a day when I want to pay tribute to the great atmosphere at the track. More than 45,000 people came and cheered on our heroes. Our meeting was themed `Celebration of Champions` and our fans were more than happy to come back to the track.

"We had one of the best race meetings, and after a period of hiatus, it shows that Hong Kong is a unique place, and our fans around the world can see how good racing is here, and that gives me great confidence for the future."

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