Hong Kong International Races: Here’s What You Need to Know

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This year marks the 31st running of the Hong Kong International Races, and nearly 1,250 horses from 17 countries/regions have taken part over the last three decades. Good Ba Ba, a winner in 2009, is just one of the headlining names through the years. Victor Fraile/Getty Images

The Hong Kong International Races have evolved over the course of three decades, and they now make up the largest annual international sporting event in Hong Kong. The four race extravaganza at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday has a rich history.

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Horse racing is extremely popular in Hong Kong, and its jockey club reports more than 2 million people attend the races over the course of 88 meetings each season. General admission to all Hong Kong race days is affordable at $1.25 (about 10 Hong Kong dollars).

This remains true for the Hong Kong International Races, where anyone can walk up on race day and get in, although hospitality suites tend to be booked well in advance. Hong Kong has two tracks, and while Happy Valley, founded in 1846, will be showing the Hong Kong International Races, go to Sha Tin to see the races in person.

The younger track, established in 1978, is in the New Territories. Sha Tin can be reached easily by Kowloon Canton Railway, disembarking at its Racecourse Station.

Satono Crown won the Hong Kong Vase in 2016. More than 2 million people attend races over the course of 88 meetings each season. Lo Chun Kit, via Getty Images Horses and More

In addition to putting on one of the biggest days of horse racing in the world, there will also be other entertainment.

The singer Hins Cheung will take part in a variety show, while the Hong Kong Police Band will lead the opening ceremony, scheduled to take place in the parade ring after the second race. At the end of the day, a large pyrotechnic display will serve as the finale.

Source: The New York Times