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The Happy Valley Racecourse
Be Sure to visit the Hong Kong Racing Museum when
visiting Happy Valley.
The city's chief recreational passion — horseracing — lies in a floodlit oasis of green in the heart of Hong Kong Island. The "Sport of Kings," the only legal form of gambling in Hong Kong, is embraced with unbridled fervor. One racing season, from September to July, can pull in more than HK$91 billion. While there's a second racecourse in Sha Tin for weekend meets, nothing beats the adrenaline-charged atmosphere of Happy Valley. With its tight tracks and high stands, it resembles a Roman amphitheater. As the travel writer Jan Morris once wrote, "Happy Valley on race day is a bitter, brilliant, grasping place."
The tote on a single night
at Happy Valley Racecourse is often equivalent to an entire year's betting
at racetracks in the West, and indeed, on race days, it seems that
everyone in Hong Kong is participating. Gambling on the horses is Pastime
Number One here (and it's taken very seriously), with thousands of
spectators flocking weekly to the impressive track, a green expanse with
an electric atmosphere surrounded by high-rises: Residents host lovely
parties on their balconies while looking down on the action.
Night races are particularly interesting, with bright lights, a frantic atmosphere, and the winnings for picking the right horse can be rather huge. An enormous 20x5.8 meter video screen surrounding the racecourse displays the races in progress, as well as all racing forms, manners of betting, and other relevant details. Hong Kong Racing is thriving, with wagering up 33% since 2006 to U.S. $10.3 billion. Hong Kong is also known for large quality fields of horses. The average field size is currently 12.5 starters per race.
Hong Kong's favorite sport is making money, and in horse racing you have Hong Kong's favorite money sport. Billions are spent every year at the Happy Valley racecourse, an oasis of green in the middle of the city. Happy Valley is known as "pow ma dai", which roughly translates as "horse race place". It is a hint at the relevance the key attraction in this leafy residential area has to the local Cantonese.
Happy Valley has been home to Hong Kong horse racing racing since 1846.
The city virtually grew up around the racecourse.
Racing not only continues today in Hong Kong, but continues to thrive.
With only plans to expand racing in Hong Kong. Happy Valley in
particular looks to have a bright future. The possibilities are
Happy Valley Racecourse is truly a treasure for Horse Racing fans
2 Sports Rd., Happy Valley, Hong Kong Island
Entry via Wong Nai Chung Road. Take the Happy Valley tram,
which runs east-west along Hong Kong Island, to the end of the line and walk
across the road to the track. Alternatively, catch the public railway system
(the MTR) to Causeway Bay and follow the signs to the racecourse. Taxis from Central cost about $HK40.
information for tourists.