Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Racecourse celebrates forty years on foreign horse racing map


When Sha Tin Racecourse opened on October 7, 1978 – forty years in the past nowadays and, aptly, within the 12 months of the Horse – it become praised for its sweeping tune, its mountain scenery and the http://judionline.bet long stretch of the Shing Mun River which borders the back straight. For the metropolis-dwelling punter, it offered infrequent area to breathe.

“Most individuals consider Hong Kong is all skyscrapers, but out here we’re taking a look at mountains, and there’s fresh air. It’s home and i’m comfortable,” says Hong Kong’s reigning champion jockey, Australian Zac Purton, who has been a resident of Sha Tin for eleven years.

Sha Tin Racecourse turned into opened five years earlier than Purton, 35, became born, and for 4 a long time has resounded to the thundering hooves of champions corresponding to Co-Tack, River Verdon, Silent Witness and, more recently, Pakistan megastar. other noted names to have galloped across the outside of Penfold Park – the public enviornment at the centre of the music – have protected overseas race-profitable Hong Kong horses Bullish success, Sacred Kingdom, able buddy and Aerovelocity, with local lovers apparently just as chuffed to cheer on the runners-up as the winners.

With entry costing just HK$10, a day at the races does not come a great deal more cost-effective than at Sha Tin, and earlier than every meeting, the crowds are funnelled from the Racecourse MTR station to emerge Fblinking into the green expanse, white residential towers within the distance giving the scene a uniquely Hong Kong stamp.

all of the metropolis’s racehorses have been stabled, exercised and expert at Sha Tin unless August, when a brand new training centre opened in the mainland to supply Hong Kong racing with added potential and facilities. those racing at satisfied Valley, Hong Kong’s customary racecourse, are despatched out on race day and returned the same night. Jockeys, trainers, mafoos and key participants of personnel are housed in the New Territories complicated.

asked for his Sha Tin highlights, Purton cites profitable the Hong Kong Derby with Luger, in 2015, and the annual Longines Hong Kong international Races, on the second Sunday of each and every December, which function 4 races and are initiate to group One horses – the optimum rating – from Hong Kong and remote places.

“It’s when the area makes a speciality of us and it’s a good time of year. each person is in a fine mood,” he says. “we now have the sprint 1,200 metres, the Mile 1,600 metres, the Cup 2,000 metres and the Vase 2,400 metres. remaining 12 months, l just essential the Cup to finished the 4. I received it with Time Warp, the ultimate piece of the puzzle. simplest two jockeys earlier than me have done that.”

whereas compact happy Valley Racecourse, with its short 1.09km track, had due to the fact 1846 offered the British colony with the electric thrill of horses charging by way of practically shut sufficient to the touch, it had reached ability by the mid-Nineteen Sixties and there become the extra problem of significant traffic congestion in a developed-up urban enviornment on race days.

Sha Tin Racecourse turned into designed to grasp the activity within the colony to a new stage, adding three tracks – a 1.9km turf music surround­ing an all-climate song and a sand practising song – in addition to a stabling advanced to initially accom­mo­date 500 horses, staff quarters and parking amenities. Being capable of experience at both satisfied Valley and Sha Tin, Purton counts himself lucky to have loved “the better of each worlds”.

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