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Updated: Apr 8

Betting on horse racing is serious business for those who follow it religiously.

There are plenty of superstitions involved in the game, especially in feng shui fuelled Hong Kong.

So, when those zealous racing fans looked forward on Saturday to an important race day that included the simultaneous broadcasts of eight races from Randwick including four Group 1 races including the Doncaster, it had to be smooth sailing.

Any glitches and those making bets would see these as a sign from above that the day was jinxed. 

Unfortunately, this is what happened on Saturday before the start of the first race when those trying to place a bet in Hong Kong were told that “the system was down”. 

A friend had already wagered $5,000 on a horse to run a place in this race before being told that the “system” was down.

The “system is down” mantra also meant missing out on making a bet in the second race. 

For those who had studied form etc, as she had, all they could do was watch... and maybe cry.

Some saw their bets win- like a HK$119,000 quartet bet- but without any money coming their way.

Any compensation?

Thought as much.

Puzzling, and which had our friend who bet that $5000 on a horse to place- it didn’t- feel more than a little, well, cheated, when having this wager missing from their account.

She asked the Telebet operator, how, if the “system was down” and no bets were accepted, what was she doing on the losing side of the ledger?

Giving money to charity?

She received the message below:

The Hong Kong Jockey Club : Your claim on 6/4/2024 has been received, the case number is T00662/23. The case is currently under review.

Through the efforts of those like someone named Ginger who tried to calm down frayed nerves, the $5000 was paid into my friend’s account on Sunday afternoon.

Many thanks to the hard working and part time telebet operators who were all in a dither trying to find their supervisors to explain what the hell was going on.

One hopes that the head of the Hong Kong Jockey Club personally thanks the little people.

Of course, and as expected, the CEO of the Hong Kong Jockey Club pretty much shrugged off the technical issues in another one of those thought provoking interviews he offers up to the subservient racing pages of the SCMP though admitting that “something like this should not happen”.


This was followed by him quoted talking and talking and talking incessantly about the humongous successes of the World Pool turnover and more turnover successes in today’s down economy of the four races from somewhere in South Africa on Saturday night.

Apart from underlining how nightlife in Hong Kong has apparently sunk to such lows that people spend Saturday nights during the HUGELY successful Rugby Sevens weekend at home watching a simultaneous broadcast of four lazy races from South Africa, one guesses, it was about how money and more money is the cure-all for all ills in the mini world of the Wini Bubble of Waffles.

It was another wunderbar lesson in corporate tap dancing and The Art Of Deflection.

The Donald could not have done better.

In the meantime, the CEO might enjoy seeing a Hong Kong that showed a pulse over the weekend at the Rugby Sevens that was attended by hundreds of thousands including the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

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