In another world first using Longitude single-pool wagering technology, the Hong Kong Jockey Club will move further down the path of customer-devised wagers this season with "composite bets" from October.
The "alternative way of betting" was rolled out yesterday among the club's fresh marketing initiatives for 2015-16.
"Perhaps the biggest innovation is the alternative way of betting - called Composite Win - which will allow fans to have a new and simplified way to pick the winner of a race," said Richard Cheung Che-kit, the executive director of customer and marketing.
Under Composite Win, horses may be grouped together and backed according to role or participant-specific objectives.
Examples given include: a punter choosing to back the "top 2 overnight favourites versus 3 overnight mid-price runners versus the rest; or horses trained by John Moore versus horses trained by Tony Cruz versus horses trained by John Size; or, at the international meeting, a punter might choose to back the grouping of Hong Kong horses versus the European horses versus Japanese horses.
Set out in this way, the composite bet has echoes of the foolishly conceived and quickly abandoned Bracket Win bet [races divided into three brackets] from some seasons ago, so the popularity remains to be seen.
However, "composite bets" will use the Longitude single-pooling technology across merged existing pools to generate the dividends rather than being their own separate pool and the idea promises more versatile options for customers than the dismal Bracket Win.
"This new alternative way of betting offers many new customer propositions ranging from simplification for the leisure customers and risk-hedging for the serious customers, as well as cheering a particular trainer or region for the sports fans," Cheung explained.
He said more details would be released before the launch of composite bets in October.
Composite win betting will be one of 10 initiatives for customers, and web-based technology will be a major strategic area.
The club will this season build on the HKJC TV App, with an upgrade in January to include access to all live and pre-recorded horse racing programmes.
After dabbling in virtual reality (VR) last season, the club will expand this menu, so racing fans will be able to feel like they are right there experiencing key locations around the racecourse.
The club's marketing team continues to expand "theme days", partnering with Sha Tin Trophy sponsor Oriental Watch for a "gentleman's bow tie" theme meeting to build on the success of Sa Sa Ladies day.
Meanwhile, the Australian spring has arrived with jockeys Joao Moreira and Zac Purton - who took major wins there this time last year - in demand again.
Sydney's first Group One of the season is Golden Rose Day on September 12, with Moreira booked for Shards and Purton for Sebring Sun.