Horse racing in Hong Kong

Posted on May 16, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

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An evening at the Hong Kong Jockey club in Happy Valley


Perhaps the British never imagined that horse racing would be a legacy of its colonial rule in Hong Kong! Now it is THE most popular sport event for locals and tourists alike, attracting crowds every week for ten months of the year. Whether you like gambling or not, it is a fun, sociable and eye-opening event that will enable you to feel and possibly understand what the thrill is about.


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Main: An untamed winning horse


Unlike horse racing events like the Ascot in the U.K. where many would dress up for the occasion, horse racing in Hong Kong is casual and down to earth. I once watched the races while having dinner at the member's restaurant above the racecourse and the atmosphere was completely different... it was way too civilised! Hence, drinking from plastic cups and eating kebabs next to the gamblers felt much more atmospheric and authentic!


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Racehorse is a great place for people-watching


Aside from the ecstatic atmosphere, the racecourse is a great place for people-watching. It makes you wonder about the psychology behind gambling and its addictive effect on people. I betted, and although I won, it did not cover my original bet payment, which was about $40. I was tempted to bet again, but my rational mind stepped in and decided against it in the end...


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Homeless shelters outside of the racecourse


As we left the racecourse, we walked past a few homeless shelters in the underpass right outside. It prompted me to wonder if they were once gamblers who lost everything to the Jockey Club? And surprisingly, they looked quite clean and organised compared to other homeless shelters that I have seen, which made me wonder more about the stories behind.

The contrast between the worlds ( inside and outside of the racecourses) is a good testimony of the widening wealth gap in Hong Kong, but unfortunately, I can't see much light at the end of the(ir) tunnel. It is sad but true nonetheless.


This post was posted in Hong Kong, Travel, Sports and was tagged with Hong Kong, horse racing