Asian Racing Review: Sure, The Everest is a success, but let’s see the figures
On this week’s episode of Asian Racing Review, Michael Cox and Andrew Le Jeune discuss The Everest, Triple Tiara heroine Liberty Island's next target and whether the G2 Sha Tin Trophy was Beauty Eternal’s chance to prove he is a HKIR contender.
Asian Racing Review's Michael Cox and Andrew Le Jeune.
Asian Racing Report Editor Michael Cox concedes he was wrong about The Everest when the controversial race was conceived by Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys but believes officials should be more transparent about its wagering figures.
The A$20m (US$12.6m) event attracted a capacity crowd at Randwick last weekend and received extensive media coverage in the lead-up and on race day itself.
This year’s race was also part of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s World Pool initiative in which the HKJC host the parimutuel pool and Australian punters – and those from around the world – bet into massive betting pools.
World Pool betting attracted more than HK$57m (US$35.9m) on The Everest alone but that was largely from Hong Kong customers and many are asking how much is being bet on the race by Australians on the race overall. The overall turnover figures and industry returns are key, given the race’s huge prizemoney and massive promotional spend surrounding it.
“We read a lot about the turnover and waging boom that The Everest brought .. and I trust that it is a great betting race that generates interest,” Cox said on this week’s edition of Asian Racing Review.
“I am not knocking the race … but what we can’t prove is whether it is this wagering giant that is being claimed in a lot of the media. I keep reading about how popular it is, and I don’t doubt it is more popular than your average race, but how popular? I would love to see those figures.”
Another discussion point was the takeout rate for World Pool races, which is higher than usual and something Cox suggested could be the next fight HKJC officials take to the government.
“It is a cause of concern for customers in Australia, it costs you in terms of price,” he said. “I think World Pool can be a force for good in terms of revitalising tote pools around the world but what has to happen, can they (HKJC officials) get that take out down? Because that is going to make turnover go up and be a better deal for customers.
“But that is a battle that is going to need to be fought by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and legislators in Hong Kong.”
Cox also touched on the influence World Pool could have on the jurisdiction hosting the race, including the faster tracks Asian punters are more accustomed to.
“World Pool brings an instant cash injection to the jurisdiction hosting the race but what expectations will it bring?” Cox asked. “We saw a very fast surface at Randwick on Saturday in an era where watering tracks is prevalent.”
Watch the Everest-related discussion on Asian Racing Review:
Other discussion topics:
Liberty Island smashes them in the G1 Shuka Sho. Where does she rank among the all-time greats, and where to next? (0:00) Sol Oriens v Tastiera in G1 Kikuka Sho continues the stretch of G1 racing and signals the arrival of superstar jockey Joao Moreira (3:47); The Everest and World Pool bring racing’s political powerbrokers Peter V’landys and Winfred Engelbrecht-Bresges together after years of animosity (5:52); World Pool influence when it comes to racing (9:00); Should the HKJC push for a reduction in takeouts on its parimutuel pools? (11:40); Racing NSW and its lack of transparency on turnover (12:15); Joe Pride should be top of HKJC’s list when it comes to a replacement for his former boss John Size (15:48); California Spangle wins the G2 Sha Tin Trophy. Was that Beauty Eternal’s best chance to beat him? (16:35); Lucky Sweynesse and trainer Manfred Man’s potential ‘trainwreck preparation’ (18:40); Hong Kong Great’s exciting G1 Queen Elizabeth Cup win (20:28).