You can bet on a good time
The world-class event is not just a day for studying form guides and picking winners. It is also a carnival and a host of entertaining activities have been planned outside the racetrack
International Beer Festival
Happy Valley Racecourse Beer Garden
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Hong Kong International Jockeys' Championship, a three-day event at the Beer Garden in the Happy Valley racecourse is organised in collaboration with the Beer Coalition. The HK$30 admission includes a lucky draw, one free beer (330ml) and a ticket to the Hong Kong International Races. Tickets are available from 15 designated off-course betting branches, Happy Valley racecourse Beer Garden and Tom Lee Music.
Eighteen international beer brands are featured for HK$10 each (330ml).
Non-stop sounds, featuring 12 All-China Super Band finalists and local rock and pop stars such as Hotcha, Candy Lo and Kay Tse, will liven things up and be broadcast live on ATV Home on December 8 at 9-10pm.
Murray House, Stanley
If you are one of the prestigious guests of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, you should have an invitation to this gala party, which features food from Chilli N Spice (Southeast Asian), Mijas (Spanish), King Ludwig (German) and Wildfire (international) - and from a specially designed Food Village on the ground floor. Entertainment includes jazz classics performed by world-famous vocalist Laura Fygi - winner of Edison award (Dutch Grammy), and hailed as the next Ella Fitzgerald - Peggy Lee and Julie London. Kung fu acts, such as 'Eighteen Weapons' and 'Olympic Games - China' by Beijing Shaolin Martial Arts Show Performing Team, will inject much energy to the atmosphere. 'Street-style' performances and game stalls will also be featured.
with the Stars
Public Forecourt, Sha Tin
Get a close look at all the star runners as they go through their final workouts (while you eat) and meet renowned owners, trainers, jockeys and racing personalities to share their thoughts on the races. On the same day, this year's Hong Kong International Sale will take place and trackside breakfast goers are invited. Stay on to have a look at the future stars. Reserve your seat by December 7 for HK$78 per person by calling 1817.
Sha Tin Racecourse
All the gates of Sha Tin racecourse will open at 10.25am, with all those entering during, or before race five receiving a limited edition baseball cap or a rain check for it (if it runs out). The day's events will start with the variety show at 10.50am at the Parade Ring with Shaolin Martial Arts Show, Pairs Dressage equestrian demonstration and singing performance by Hacken Lee and Ivana Wong. The first race starts at 12.25pm. Then pop star Hacken Lee will lead the national anthem with the Hong Kong Police Band in the opening ceremony after race two. The Hong Kong Sprint starts at 2pm to kick off the HKIR. More Shaolin action and the All-star Talent Show can be enjoyed from 12.30pm, with six sessions going until 4.15pm at the Concourse. After the races the closing ceremony starts. Racing fans can watch the Hong Kong Police Band's marching performance and the fun ends with the blasts of the pyrotechnic show.
What to eat
International delicacies will be offered at Mezza One, with dishes ranging from barbecue pork ribs with spicy corn on the cob and jambalaya (HK$60) and duck confit with orange glaze served with grilled vegetable couscous (HK$60) to mini Buddha jump over the wall (HK$68) and the stewed sea cucumber with spring onion sauce (HK$60). For a snack, try crispy-soft pizza bread or steamed minced pork with white cabbage bun (both HK$20 for two pieces). Or book a table at The Pinnacle for HK$570 for a great view of the races and an International buffet spread, unlimited supply of selected beers and wines, fruit juices, soft drinks and mineral water, welcome pack with race card and discount at the gift shop. For enquiries, call 29667293.
Get a pass
To enjoy all the perks, a Hong Kong International Racing Festival Passport is on offer for HK$60, packed with coupons worth HK$280, including a HK$10 admission ticket for Sha Tin racecourse public enclosure (and a ticket for the Boxing Day races), redemption coupon for the Shaolin Martial Arts Show and the All-star Talent Show merchandise coupons, food and drink coupons, and Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup Guess the Winning Horse Game with a chance to win two round-trip economy tickets to any destination in Asia. The passport can be purchased at the racecourses, designated off-course betting branches and 7-Eleven.
To retain a memory of the races, check out the special souvenirs embroidered with the event's name and icon. If you would like to wear them, there is the short-sleeved, navy blue cotton polo shirt, or the zip-front windbreaker finished with vertical welted pockets, velcro cuffs and adjustable hem, with an international flags strap finishing on the right arm and 'Turf World Championships' printed on the back. Otherwise, drink up with the stainless steel thermal mug printed with logo, name and national flags on the body. Or travel around with a signature polyester travel bag in dark blue with black trimming or ladies' bag in elegant red and with a metallic buckle. Finally, there is the simple but tasteful logo charm key holder. Available from the gift shops at Sha Tin and Happy Valley racecourses and The Hong Kong Racing Museum (2/FHappy Valley Stand, Happy Valley). The mug and the key chain are sold at 51 other designated outlets. Call 1817 for enquiries.