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WINFRIED Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of the record-setting and world-renowned Hong Kong Jockey Club, has given South African racing a valuable mention  in his 2017 report, published recently.

The Club will be lending its high-profile support to the South African bloodstock market and will be helping with the resolution of bloodstock export protocols.

Engelbrecht-Bresges wrote: “To sustain the success of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s integrated model, and its commitment to the betterment of society, the Club must continue investing in its world-class racing product. This means we need to keep increasing prize money, both to incentivise horse owners and to maintain the attractiveness of our international races for overseas horses. To provide owners with more choice, the Club is currently supporting efforts to open up the South African market for direct export to major jurisdictions.”

In the 2016/17 season, the KKCJ put up another record performance, with total turnover reaching a new high of HK$218.2 billion. Racing achieved a record turnover of HK$117.4 billion, up 10.7% for the full season, generating gross margin, commingling and simulcast royalty income of HK$18.3billion, up 8.5%. Total net margin retained by the Club, plus commingling and simulcast royalty income, was up 9.3% to HK$5.2 billion.

Engelbrecht-Bresges commented: “These results reflect the success of the Club’s integrated business model and of the core values that underpin it. They are also the result of a long-term strategy, which started twenty years ago, to position Hong Kong as a centre of world-class racing. Essential to this strategy has been a significant increase in prize money, which has incentivised owners to invest in quality horses and attracted top horses from overseas to compete in Hong Kong’s international races. In the same way, and also through the improving quality of racing, the Club has recruited and developed top trainers, jockeys and racing professionals.”

Photo: Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, HKJC.