Racing souvenirs becoming popular

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 April, 2004, 12:00am

Before you throw away your used race ticket at the end of the day, consider for a moment whether it really is as worthless as you might think.

Collectors of racing memorabilia are a growing breed the world over, and while the most fanatical probably come from America or Japan, Hong Kong is quickly picking up the trend. A group of local collectors meets once a month to discuss their hobby and compare recent acquisitions, among them media executive David Yeung, 30.

'I started collecting at about 17, when I was in Australia. I started with a coffee mug, then a cap and moved on to a jacket and tie. Now I have at least 30 different items in my collection, including over 100 caps.'

Anything is fair game to collectors such as Mr Yeung, who has souvenirs from racetracks in Australia, America, Britain, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong - some of them collected personally, others bought at online auction sites.

From glassware to photos to horseshoes to used tickets, he collects for the fun of it, while also holding on to the hope they might be worth something one day.

And apparently with good reason, if the last crop used on the highly pedigreed stallion Mr Prospector, which sold at the Keeneland Sales in Kentucky for US$4 million, is anything to go by.

Mr Yeung cites a photo of champion stallion Mr Prospector, and his set of rare, first-time-issue Kentucky Derby glassware, among his most prized possessions.

Admitting that his was a modest collection by international standards, Mr Yeung had no plans to curb the habit.

'I'll never have enough. Besides, they might be worth a lot of money one day.'

The Hong Kong Jockey Club started selling merchandise to commemorate its important race meetings several years ago.

It will offer three items for the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup: a polo shirt ($150), micro-fibre baseball cap embroidered with the APQEII logo ($60), and a waterproof polyester sports bag ($120).


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