According to a consortium of horse racing leaders, this year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas Day at Newmarket and the Derby Day at Epsom Downs will be graded as World Pool events.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club, UK Tote Group, The Jockey Club, and Racecourse Media Group (RMG), the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s media rights affiliate, announced Monday that the two meets will be added to the five days of Royal Ascot and QIPCO British Champions Day as World Pool activities.
World-wide pool betting operators
Chairman of the UK Tote Group, John Williamson, said: “As the UK Tote, we are incredibly proud of our partnership with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and greatly admire the pioneering approach of Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges and the Hong Kong Jockey Club team in bringing together pool betting operators from around the world.
“Having more World Pool days on British race meetings in 2021 highlights the strength and depth of the sport in Great Britain. This was underlined earlier this year when the Juddmonte International Stakes at York Racecourse was confirmed as the Longines top flat race in the world in 2020, with British racing currently staging 22 of the top hundred races, more than any other racing nation.
“These are challenging times for British racing but with racecourses, media rights companies and the Tote able to come together with international partners to utilise pool betting and showcase British racing to an international audience, we have a crucial opportunity to boost the sport’s fan base and increase betting revenues, this year and beyond.”
The QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby, two widely awaited and well-known fixtures on the global horse racing calendar, will take place on May 1 and 5, respectively. The races, which have grown in popularity in Hong Kong in recent years, will be televised in the territory by RMG in association with the Jockey Club, a partnership that has lasted over ten years.
Since 2012, Hong Kong turnover has improved by over 118 percent, and RMG’s racing coverage has led to a 94 percent growth in handle since 2017.
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Jockey Club said: “We were delighted with the first two years of World Pool and are grateful to the Hong Kong Government for approving further simulcast days in 2021.
“Some of the most prestigious racing in the world”
“British racing hosts some of the most prestigious racing in the world and we are pleased to be able to extend World Pool to the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Derby racedays, alongside Royal Ascot and British Champions Day. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Tote and all in British racing as we confirm further World Pool days in order to grow pool betting and showcase the best racing in the world to international racing audiences.”
Nick Mills, Chief Commercial Officer at RMG, also said: “RMG is delighted to play its part in ensuring the QIPCO 2000 Guineas Day and Derby Day are World Pool events.
“We look forward to working with The Jockey Club in delivering a truly worldwide betting audience through the Hong Kong Jockey Club and our international network of pool operators. RMG is excited about showcasing more World Pool events from RMG courses in the future.”
With racing enthusiasts from all around the world betting into one pool, the World Pool aims to deepen racing pools, seamless selling, and generate “an increase in value for customers.” Pools increased by over 400 percent to 92.2 million at the 2019 Royal Ascot, and contributed a further 50 percent rise to £137 million at the previous year’s event.
As a result of expanded liquidity from a foreign base of bettors, tote consumers gained from a pool price that surpassed the Starting Price (SP) by 32 percent in 2019 and 9 percent in 2020.
Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, Nevin Truesdale, commented: “The QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the Derby are two of the most compelling and competitive flat races anywhere in the world, so it is great news that their global appeal for racing fans will be complemented by the opportunity to bet on them through World Pool.
“Our thanks go to the UK Tote Group, Hong Kong Jockey Club and our partners at RMG for their assistance in facilitating this exciting development, one which we hope will add to the enjoyment of two of our flagship fixtures for those watching across the globe.”