Day at the Races

Rac­ing fans went on an ex­clu­sive trip to Chukyo Race­course in Nagoya to soak up the fun and ex­cite­ment at the Taka­mat­sunomiya Ki­nen

Hong Kong Tatler - - Tatler Focus | The Racing Club -

The Ep­som and Ir­ish Der­bies in Europe, the Mel­bourne Cup in Aus­tralia, and the Ken­tucky Derby in the US are some ex­am­ples of group horse rac­ing at the high­est level. The Taka­mat­sunomiya Ki­nen in Ja­pan, at Nagoya’s Chukyo Race­course has, in par­tic­u­lar, be­come one of the most ex­cit­ing ones in re­cent years be­cause its races are so hard to pre­dict. Horses trained out­side Ja­pan have been el­i­gi­ble to run in the race since 2001, and this year’s event— the 46th run­ning—was staged as a leg of the pres­ti­gious Global Sprint Chal­lenge, with to­tal prize money of ap­prox­i­mately HK$14 mil­lion. It is the sec­ond leg of the se­ries, pre­ceded by the Light­ning Stakes and, from 2012, fol­lowed by the Dubai Golden Sha­heen. An­other mile­stone hap­pened in 2015, when a horse named Aerov­e­loc­ity be­came the first horse, trained in Hong Kong, to win the race.

It was with a sense of height­ened an­tic­i­pa­tion that the Rac­ing Club mem­bers joined a tour to Ja­pan in March 2016 for this Grade 1 flat horse race for thoroughbreds at the Chukyo Race­course in Nagoya. When the mem­bers ar­rived at Chukyo Race­course, they re­acted with de­light at the warm wel­come or­gan­ised by the Ja­pan Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (JRA) that fea­tured Turfy—the JRA mas­cot. The group soon set­tled into their pri­vate box to watch the race and en­joy the ex­cit­ing, car­ni­val-like at­mos­phere of the race­course.

In ad­di­tion, mem­bers were able to visit the Ritto Train­ing Cen­tre, where JRA’S 2,000 race­horses are trained, and were taken on a tour by the Deputy Man­ager of Gen­eral Af­fairs. The group viewed the cen­tre’s seven train­ing cour­ses, in­clud­ing the new poly­track and the tracks lined with turf or wood­chip. Mem­bers par­tic­u­larly en­joyed step­ping onto the wood­chip course to get a feel for its tex­ture.

The itin­er­ary in­cluded a tour of Wins Nagoya, one of the JRA’S off-course bet­ting fa­cil­i­ties. Mem­bers got to ex­pe­ri­ence Ja­panese horse rac­ing through the six storeys, which fea­ture the lat­est bet­ting ma­chines and al­low rac­ing fans to en­joy the ex­cite­ment without be­ing at the race­course.

Apart from the rac­ing, the group en­joyed some qual­ity leisure time. They took in the charms of the hot springs, framed by the beau­ti­ful scenery of Lake Biwa, and was pleas­antly sur­prised by snow when they vis­ited Bi­wako Val­ley—with the mem­bers play­ing in the snow and tak­ing lots of pic­tures of the win­ter wonderland. The group also went on a brew­ery tour at the Kirin Beer Fac­tory, which of­fered a glimpse into the brew­ing fa­cil­i­ties and some beer-tast­ing; and sat down for an ex­quis­ite meal at the Miche­lin-starred restau­rant in a tra­di­tional Ja­panese inn.

The over­seas rac­ing tour pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity for mem­bers to ex­pand their rac­ing knowl­edge and be part of a com­mu­nity of like­minded rac­ing en­thu­si­asts with friend­ships that go well be­yond the race­track, with many meet­ing up for so­cial gath­er­ings af­ter the tour.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.