Simulcast turnover gets a boost on HK race days

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 June, 2010, 12:00am

The increasing frequency and variety of the overseas simulcasts is certainly giving us some sort of guide as to where the turnover will come from on these, and having them on race days and with a focus for local players still seem to be important.

The figures for Dubai in March, when Hong Kong was represented and the racing was at a late hour, were quite good, but the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby not so good in the early hours. The Melbourne Cup and Breeders' Cup were disappointing - held on a non-raceday and late at night with no home-bred interest.

The weekend's Epsom Derby races were in between, but then the waters are being muddied at times by the bizarre presentation of events, too.

We touched earlier in the season on the B-grade-at-best coverage of some Australian racing and how surprised were punters on Saturday night when their anticipation of the Epsom Derby was cut short, virtually at the vinegar stroke, as free to air television coverage slipped away to the late news? Can't miss Freddy.

Still, it is hard to hang ATV over it, since the station and the Jockey Club never made any agreement to delay the 11pm news to accommodate the race.

Research the world over shows that punters are keener to play when they are going to see the event on which they are wagering.

So HK$50 million wagered in total on five races from England probably wasn't too bad, given that ATV didn't show the first race and the loss of the vision would have negatively impacted last-minute Derby betting figures, though viewers on cable or in off-course shops didn't miss a thing.

On Sunday, the day simulcast during a local meeting of just the lone race from Japan, the Yasuda Kinen, managed to hold HK$20 million.

That was boosted by Hong Kong's participating runners, and no matter how far we go down the overseas simulcast path, that still appears to be a primary factor in the level of punter interest.