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HKJC aims to expand World Pool after strong 2023

| By Richard Mulligan
The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) said it is looking to further expand its World Pool offering for UK and Ireland races after generating HK$4.7bn ($600m/€566m/£490m) in turnover during 2023.

Some 19 races featured this year in this year’s World Pool UK and Ireland offering, including the Lockinge, the Irish Derby and the Sun Chariot for the first time.

The overall total was marginally down on 2022’s figure of HK$4.9bn, but still significantly up on the 2021 figure of HK3.9bn.

Meanwhile, prize money won across the 131 World Pool races in the UK and Ireland this year was at a record high of £32m. In the UK and Ireland, the international pari-mutuel pool is accessed via the Tote, at racecourses, online and via the Tote App.

Michael Fitzsimons, executive director of wagering products at the HKJC,  said: “We are really pleased with how World Pool has been received in the UK and Ireland again this year and the turnover figures look strong against a challenging economic backdrop.

“There are many more opportunities for growth in the UK and Ireland and we look forward to being able to roll out World Pool at even more of the season’s flagship race days. We look forward to adding more days in the future.

“We’d like to thank all of our partners, including the UK Tote, Racecourse Media Group and Ascot Racecourse – who have all been with us since World Pool was first created in 2019 – for all their hard work in making it another highly successful season.”

Martin Stevenson, chief executive of Racecourse Media Group (RMG), said: “World Pool has been a hugely important initiative for British and Irish racing to grow revenues and prize money and it’s been great to see such strong performance again in 2023.”

Record turnover for World Pool in UK and Ireland

Outside of the UK and Ireland, World Pool meetings in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Australia have all posted record turnover numbers during 2023. World Pool will be active for two further meetings – Cox Plate Day and Victoria Derby Day – in Australia this year.

This year’s Caulfield Cup broke the record for the highest turnover on a World Pool race in Australia with HK$54.2m bet into the pool, eclipsing the HKD$51.5m bet on the previous weekend’s Everest. Only two World Pool races this year, the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes and the Dubai World Cup, have had bigger pools.

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