Changes in Store for Hong Kong Racing in 2014
Betting on horse racing in Hong Kong will more than likely take a major hit next year when Happy Valley Race Course closes in order to renovate its racing surface and drainage system.
According to the Racing Post, up to ten race fixtures are scheduled to be transferred from Happy Valley to Sha Tin. According to Hong Kong racing officials, betting at Happy Valley regularly exceeds HK$1 billion, while similar meetings at Sha Tin bring in around HK$60 million less.
The renovation project will replace three areas of the Happy Valley surface and is due to start in April 2014. Although some of the construction will take place during the two-month off-season, the track is scheduled to be out of action until mid-October.
“I don’t think it will be excessive, but I think there will be a slight reduction in turnover. The occasional dirt meeting can hold its own, but a constant diet of dirt races on Wednesday nights, we haven’t experienced that in Hong Kong – at least not for some time,” HKJC director of racing Bill Nader said.