Slight drop in turnover
A late scratching, the lack of a Triple Trio jackpot and the psychological presence of tomorrow night's added Happy Valley meeting combined to see yesterday's season-finale figures at Sha Tin come in lower than a year ago.
Turnover was down by a tick over HK$28 million but executive director of racing Bill Nader said the club was satisfied with the result after registering another 'billion-dollar day'.
'The difference was not much more than the amount that we had to return - HK$23 million - due to Gem Of Chiu Ton being scratched before the start of the ninth race,' Nader said. 'Add the fact we had no Triple Trio jackpot and last year we had a substantial one, and there's the difference. But there was also that psychological difference for our customers, knowing there is still another meeting to go. You see it quite markedly in the later races on the day - the 10th race betting was down about HK$30 million on last year.'
Nader said he believed that was reflected in the day's attendance figures, too, with just under 55,000 attending the meeting as against just over 70,000 last year.
'That and also the fact that last year's raceday was the 10th anniversary of the handover so it was historically significant and drew a bigger crowd than the final meeting had done the previous year,' he said.
In the stewards' room, the day was quiet except for Australian jockey Glen Boss having acquired careless riding bookends for the season - a charge on both the opening and closing Sha Tin meetings for the term. Boss pleaded guilty over the incident early in race nine which later saw his mount Medico relegated to third on protest. His penalty was a HK$75,000 fine.