Benefits of commingling made obvious once again

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2011, 12:00am


Something that international racing does boil down to an obvious concept is the value created by horses racing out of their jurisdiction.

On Sunday, in the Vase, we saw Silver Pond backed down on the Hong Kong tote board from more than 20-1 to just over 4-1 as the major mover in the race. The stayer was probably the strongest tip we can remember on international day, with even trainers and connections of other runners tipping the horse to win after his strong work at Sha Tin and an excellent run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

We can only imagine what sort of betting on the grey might have been generated in Europe, had commingling into Hong Kong pools been available to punters in France.

Likewise, we spoke to many people in attendance from the UK who could not believe the discrepancy in odds for one of the most consistent high-grade sprinters from there, Bated Breath, who was offered up at just on double figures by bookies at home but was over 100-1 here for the Sprint. And Singapore's Rocket Man fans would surely have lapped up the 8.6 on offer for their hero on our boards.

There were other examples, as there are every year, wherein foreign punters would be only too happy to fill the Hong Kong pools with their bets and take advantage of what must seem extraordinary prices about their high-class horses.

But of course, that discussion leads always back to the impasse with government on commingling, a road blocked by the double taxation issues which have proved so hard to surmount.