DURBAN – The recent Daily News 2000 race meeting marked the first time South African horseplayers were able to bet into Hong Kong’s mega tote pools on a race meeting in this country and the turnover generated in just a few hours was astonishing.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club classified the 29 May Daily News 2000 meeting as a World Pool event, resulting in punters in Hong Kong being able to take the normal range of Hong Kong tote bets on races two to nine.
Four South African tote pools on the same races were commingled into Hong Kong pools – Win, Place, Swinger and Quinella – with local TAB pools on all other bet types.
Total gross turnover on the eight races was R486 million, comprising R405 million bet by Hong Kong punters with South Africa and other international sources contributing R81 million.
The amount bet must be viewed against the background that it was a stand-alone televised event in Hong Kong and took place in a timeframe from 18:25 to 22:35 in the Far East.
The average pool totals on the four commingled bet types are striking to say the least. Win pools averaged R9.4 million gross, Place pools R10.1 million and the Swinger (Quinella Place in Hong Kong) R13.5 million.
The Quinella (first two any order and the equivalent of the Dupla that was once offered in South Africa) was by far the most popular bet on the meeting with eight pools averaging R15.1 million gross.
Lance Smith, who manages Tellytrack and Phumelela’s international operations, said: “Betting into pools of that size on local races was a first for South African punters and the horseracing industry in this country earned a substantial commission from the undertaking.
“The event was generally well received in Hong Kong and there’s good news ahead because the Gold Cup race meeting at the end of July will also be classified as a World Pool event by the Hong Kong Jockey Club,” continued Smith. “But there are issues to be resolved before then including the length of time taken to declare official results.”
A full breakdown of the tote betting on the eight races is below (four commingled bet types highlighted in yellow). Please note these are gross pools.