Horse Racing
Special Announcement on 29 March Sha Tin Race Meeting

27/03/2020 23:42

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is in steadfast support of Hong Kong to address the unprecedented challenges brought by COVID-19 outbreak. Not only has the Club implemented various precautionary measures for the protection of its employees and customers in the racecourses and other facilities, but also relentlessly collaborated with the Hong Kong Government on its multiple initiatives. Such measures include the suspension of the business of all the Off-Course Betting Branches to avoid crowd gathering and the limitation of attendance at the race meetings to only horse owners with starters under the current arrangements. As a result of all these efforts, race meetings have been able to continue under a safe environment for the benefit of our society. That includes the significant taxation contribution to the Government and the donation of HK$200 million to the community in supporting those in need including the underprivileged and the ethnic minority.

Today the Government announced a new regulation prohibiting group gathering of more than four people in public places that will greatly impact our race meetings. The regulation creates an ambiguity as to whether horse owners with starters can continue to attend the race meetings. Under this circumstance, the Club may either need to suspend the race meetings or proceed without the attendance of any customers. The Club has already immediately approached the relevant government departments but has not yet received any clarification.

Given that the new regulation will be effective immediately from 29 March midnight, the Club has decided to proceed with the race meeting on 29 March without the attendance of any customers including horse owners with starters. As the Sha Tin Racecourse is a work place for Club stable staff, licensed persons and racing media only, the Club is of the view that the race meeting under this arrangement will fully comply with the new regulation. The Club nevertheless notes that the attendance at the racecourse and in the parade ring of the owners of starters together with the trainer and jockey when the riding instructions are given for each race is an integral part of staging a race meeting. In order to remove the uncertainties over the arrangements for future race meetings, the Club will continue to seek clarification from the Government and make further announcements.

The Club would like to thank horse owners and customers for their understanding and patience.