A potential Hong Kong Jockey Club buyout of Macau's racing operation got the thumbs-up from prominent trainers on both sides of the Pearl River Delta yesterday. Former Hong Kong champion John Moore hailed it as a 'great' idea, while Macau's leading trainer Allan Tam Man-chau said it would take racing in the enclave to 'another level'. As the South China Morning Post revealed exclusively yesterday, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is holding talks with its Macau counterpart about buying the MJC outright. Such a move could see Macau turnover leap to as much as $25 billion a season and return HKJC revenues to pre-handover levels. Other benefits would include HKJC facilities being utilised year-round, Hong Kong owners being able totransfer horses not good enough for local competition and Hong Kong apprentice jockeys being able to learn their trade in a less pressurised racing environment. Moore, a trainers' premiership winner in Hong Kong and son of 11-times champion trainer George Moore, was all in favour of the move. 'It would get the betting turnover back to the same level it was in the 1990s,' he said. 'It would also benefit owners because Macau would quickly become an option for horses who couldn't quite make it in Hong Kong, whereas now they have to be either retired or shipped off shore. A new-look Macau racing industry, run by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, would help Macau itself, put more credibility into the place and entice more people to go racing there.' Moore summed up: 'I can't see why it couldn't be a success story.' Tam, Macau's champion trainer last season and the man who prepared the enclave's first-ever Hong Kong International Races runner, Royal Treasure in last year's International Cup, was another who put his hand up to support the potential buyout. 'Racing in Macau right now is very good but the Hong Kong Jockey Club management would have the assets to take it to another level,' he said. 'This would be a very good thing for Macau racing - more money, more promotion.' John Moore's thoughts were echoed by his brother Gary, who has made a big success of training in Macau in the two seasons since he transferred from Sydney. 'I've been saying to people for the last nine months that this would be the best thing that could happen to Macau racing and for Macau itself,' he said. 'It would benefit everyone in racing on both sides and also the charity organisations. It would be a winning move right across the board. Having worked in racing internationally, I think the positive aspects of Hong Kong buying Macau make it the best idea I have heard in a long time.' The only dissenting voice yesterday came from five-times Hong Kong champion trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee, who didn't mince words with his view: 'I don't think it will happen.' Another positive aspect of a potential HKJC buyout of the privately owned MJC relates to the future marketing of wagering in China, and of the development of its embryonic racing industry. The 'two brothers fighting', as HKJC chief executive Lawrence Wong referred to his club and Macau in yesterday's Post story, is understood to be a source of annoyance in Beijing. But if the combined racing industries of Hong Kong and Macau could, through a buyout, present a united front to the world, many aspects of its business would be considerably enhanced. The Post's story yesterday set the racing world buzzing, with the HKJC compelled to release a short statement saying: 'The Club entered into discussion with the MJC and we said we would be prepared to look at all options. We are continuing to exchange information with the MJC.' But the one man everyone wanted to hear from, MJC chief executive Kenneth Liang Kin-man, was still not returning calls on the subject. Wong, newly appointed chairman of the Asian Racing Federation, had told the Post the lines of communication between himself and Liang were open and discussions had been positive. 'It is one of the options the Macau Jockey Club has put on the table, but the question is that it should be a business decision. So, all in due time - we don't know what the outcome is going to be until all the studies are done,' said Wong. 'They made proposals, we're looking at it, asking questions and looking at all options. I think soon we'll meet again.'