Punters in Hong Kong wagered more than R500 million with the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) tote on the Gold Cup race meeting in Durban on Saturday 31 July 2021.
As with the Daily News 2000 meeting in Durban in May, the HKJC classified Gold Cup Day as a World Pool event. Races 2 to 10 were televised live in Hong Kong with the HKJC tote offering its normal range of bets to customers.
South African Win, Place, Swinger and Quinella tote pools on the nine races were again commingled into the HKJC World Pools with local TAB pools on all other bet types.
Total gross turnover on the nine races was a staggering R628 million with R528 million bet by Hong Kong punters and the remainder coming from South Africa and other international partners.
This was 22% more than HKJC World Pools on the Daily News meeting when there was one race less. If the additional race is excluded, total tote turnover on Races 2 to 8 at the Gold Cup reflects a 5% increase over the same races on Daily News Day – and this in spite of more than R8 million being refunded on Race 2 because of a late scratching.
The Quinella and Swinger (Quinella Place) were the most popular bets. Swinger pools on the nine races averaged R17.1 million and Quinella pools slightly less at R16.8 million.
The top-turnover race on the day was the Mercury Sprint. Nearly R100 million was wagered, significantly more than any other race and probably due to the presence of rank outsider Pearl of Asia.
The gelding’s name apparently caught the attention of many Hong Kong punters because he was well backed on the tote and paid R18.10 for a Win after springing a 40-1 surprise and beating 10-1 chance Sakheet by a neck.
“We were delighted by the increase in turnover,” said Lance Smith, who manages Tellytrack and Phumelela’s international operations.
“It was an extremely positive end to the South African horseracing season after a difficult few weeks during which turnovers were adversely impacted by the unrest and that many TABs were closed because of the pandemic.
“The World Pools injected much excitement and interest into the day with South African punters again afforded the opportunity into massive tote pools on local races. On behalf of the tote and horseracing operators in this country, I would like to thank the HKJC for according World Pool status to the Gold Cup and all the individuals who contributed to the success of the day,” added Smith.
A full breakdown of the tote betting on the World Pool races is below.
Note these are gross pools in Rands using an exchange rate of HK$1 = R1.87.