Top-quality horse-racing track focus for Hanoi sport complex

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 February, 2000, 12:00am

A French-Vietnamese joint venture is to set up the capital's first international-standard horse-racing track as part of a US$57 million sport and entertainment complex.

Taking the Hong Kong industry as its model, the consortium plans to open the Hanoi track by early 2003 and hopes to expand into other Vietnamese cities after assessing its first year of operations.

Racing was popular in Vietnam during the French colonial period, but in recent times, it has been confined to Ho Chi Minh City and the newly established greyhound track at the southern port city of Vung Tau.

Hoang The Vinh, vice-chairman of the Vietnam Sporting Jockey Club's board of directors, said raising awareness of the sport was an integral part of the joint venture's strategy and he was confident of early success during the project's 50-year licensing agreement.

'We have a sophisticated promotional plan in place, horse racing is very exciting and betting on racing is easy,' he said.

'We will launch a comprehensive advertising campaign and already have a government licence for a cable television channel and newspaper. Cable programming will commence three months before the track is opened.' Mr Vinh said site clearance in the southern Hanoi district of Huyen Tranh Tri had already begun and the joint venture would soon be seeking expressions of interest from foreign trainers and racehorse owners in Australia, Britain and the United States.

He said the consortium also had plans to introduce harness racing at some time.