Happy Valley (Image: Hong Kong Jockey Club)
Racing.com, the home of Victorian thoroughbred racing, will gain a hugely significant addition to its coverage from June 1 with the free-to-air broadcast of the Happy Valley meeting from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has long been considered a world-leading racing jurisdiction and houses huge wagering pools across a variety of bet types offered by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC).
A staggering HK$107.9 billion (A$19.24b) was wagered across 83 race meetings in Hong Kong during the 2014/15 racing season, which operates from September to July each year.
Some of the biggest names in world racing call Hong Kong home, including superstar Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira, 13-time champion Douglas Whyte, and expatriate Australian riders Zac Purton, Nash Rawiller, Brett Prebble and Chad Schofield.
The addition of Hong Kong will complement the premium suite of Victorian coverage available on Racing.com.
Mr David Moodie, Chairman of Racing Victoria and Racing.com, is excited by the opportunities ahead through the agreement.
"The launch of the free-to-air Racing.com channel has been a significant success story for the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry as we have been able to make our sport accessible to more people in more places than ever before," said Mr Moodie.
"Our free-to-air coverage reaches 96 per cent of the Australian population which gives racing a massive opportunity.
"We have come a long way in a short period of time since the launch of Racing.com as a joint venture with Seven West Media in August, 2015.
"It is a privilege for Racing.com to be afforded the honour to showcase such high-quality content and that is why this partnership with the Hong Kong Jockey Club is the perfect fit.
"With Hong Kong racing being staged in the late afternoon and evenings alongside Victorian racing, this will suit our audience’s viewing and wagering habits, along with many links through Australian trainers, jockeys and horses competing every week."
Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Hong Kong Jockey Club Chief Executive Officer, believes that the increased coverage through Racing.com will boost the club’s wagering opportunities.
“This development is a win for the overseas distribution of Hong Kong racing and will enable the growth of our commingling business,” said Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges.
“Australians will know on which channel they can find Hong Kong’s exciting racing.
“The amount of coverage Racing.com will provide offers customers more information and expert opinions, especially in the crucial minutes before a race.”
Aside from showcasing live Hong Kong racing, Racing.com will also include preview programming to assist punters in finding winners.
For every night meeting, a preview program will commence an hour before the first race in Hong Kong, involving Shane Anderson, Clint Hutchison and Brent Zerafa from Racing.com, and Matthew Campbell from CrownBet.
The HKJC produced 'Racing To Win' will also be available on the Racing.com digital platform the day before a meeting and also included on the broadcast.
Coverage of Hong Kong racing will be available to Australian viewers on Racing.com free-to-air channel 68 (regional), channel 78 (metropolitan), Racing.com digital platform, 7live.com.au and Plus 7 digital platforms.
Hong Kong racing will not be accessed on Racing.com Foxtel channel 529 due to a contractual arrangement between Foxtel and a third party.