World races ahead in commingling stakes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2011, 12:00am

Ah yes, commingling, you relentless, scantily clad tease. It's been a little while but you've been busy.

Matters commingling in Hong Kong may be cooler than Charlie Sheen's reception at a Warner Bros office party, but developments on the subject continue elsewhere with significance for Hong Kong if and when it attempts to gain any traction in the field.

Australian operator Tabcorp has signed a deal to broadcast races live into betting shops in Ireland and the United Kingdom, a precursor to commingling bets between the two sides.

When that begins, it is one more hook-up that will make things tougher on the negotiation front for Hong Kong dealing with foreign operators, and if any thoughts remain of wanting to take the Triple Trio global.

We have mentioned previously the Jockey Club always regarded the Triple Trio as an important flagbearer for it overseas - in fact, when the bet went from races three, four and six to three consecutive races several years ago, it was to streamline it for overseas consumption.

But with the TT in awful shape, the squatter's rights to becoming the world's big bet on horse racing look to be heading elsewhere. Last weekend, a jackpot of HK$1.97 million in Tabcorp's four-leg Quadrella bet led to a dividend pool of more than HK$27 million.

Meanwhile, the minor track of Exeter in England will host a record jackpot in the UK's lottery racing bet, the Tote Jackpot, with a forecast pool of over HK$25 million this week.

They are numbers the poor old TT rarely reaches these days and makes any flag-bearing hopes look forlorn, even if the government comes to the commingling table at any time soon.