There are some serious dollars flowing into Sha Tin during the 2012 Hong Kong International Races.
The New York Times article about Hong Kong racing that I linked to earlier on Saturday mentioned that the annual handle for races is around $10 billion, a staggering amount for such a small racing jurisdiction. The 2012 Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin, featuring the Hong Kong Cup, are simply raking in cash this year. Below is a summary of the total wagering handle on each race, after conversion to US dollars. The numbers are staggering:
|Race 4||$9,604,521||HK$74,435,194||Hong Kong Vase|
|Race 5||$17,761,173||HK$135,440,611||Hong Kong Sprint|
|Race 7||$11,863,425||HK$118,636,185||Hong Kong Mile|
|Race 8||$15,763,272||HK$122,165,602||Hong Kong Cup|
The 2009, 2010 and 2011 Breeders' Cup handled a total of $153 million, $158 million and $155 million, respectively. As for comparisons to the juggernaut that is the Kentucky Derby, the 2012 Kentucky Derby handled $133.1 million, with the entire Churchill card handling $187 million.
Hong Kong (and most countries) don't have a race that can compare to the massive betting on the Derby, but the handle on the non-feature races is quite consistent and incredibly impressive. Oddly enough, the Hong Kong Cup didn't draw the most action on the Sha Tin card, that came in the two races after the feature. I'm not sure if that's due to multi-race wagers ending in races 9 and 10, or if it's a reflection of the chalky nature of the Cup.