View of the racecourse in 2008
|Location||Wan Chai District, Hong Kong|
|Owned by||Hong Kong Jockey Club|
|Happy Valley Racecourse|
Westerly panorama of the racecourse
Racecourse at night
|Alternative Chinese name|
The Happy Valley Racecourse is one of the two racecourses for horse racing and is a tourist attraction in Hong Kong. It is located in Happy Valley on Hong Kong Island, surrounded by Wong Nai Chung Road and Morrison Hill Road. The capacity of the venue is 55,000.
It was first built in 1845 to provide horse racing for the British people in Hong Kong. The area was previously swampland, but the only flat ground suitable for horse racing on Hong Kong Island. To make way for the racecourse, Hong Kong Government prohibited rice growing by villages in the surrounding area. The first race ran in December 1846. Over the years, horse racing became more and more popular among the Chinese residents.
On 26 February 1918, a temporary grandstand collapsed, knocking over hot food stalls that set bamboo matting ablaze. In the fire that ensued at least 590 people died.
Over the years, facilities have been added and extended, including extensively in 1995.
The Happy Valley Racecourse is one of two racecourses in Hong Kong used by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for horse racing meets, the other being the Sha Tin Racecourse. Races in Happy Valley usually take place on Wednesday nightsand are open to the public as well as members of the Club. The Happy Valley Racecourse and its seven-storey stands are capable of accommodating approximately 55,000 spectators.
The inner field of the course contains sports and leisure facilities such as football, hockey and rugby fields, managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Archive and Museum (or Hong Kong Racing Museum) was set up in 1995 and opened on 18 October 1996.It is now located on the second floor of the Happy Valley Stand of the racecourse.
There are four galleries in the museum:
There is also a cinema and a souvenir shop in the museum.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) is one of the oldest institutions in Hong Kong, having been founded in 1884. In 1959, it was granted a Royal Charter and renamed The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club (英皇御准香港賽馬會). The institution reverted to its original name in 1996 due to the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997. Membership of the club is by nomination and election.
Fo Tan is an area of Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong. It was developed as a light industrial area, but this activity has declined markedly in recent years. There are residential areas to the east, alongside the MTR line, and in the foothills to the west.
Hong Kong Heritage Museum is a museum of history, art and culture in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, located beside the Shing Mun River. The museum opened on 16 December 2000. It is managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Government. The six permanent exhibits and the original temporary exhibits were designed by design firm Reich+Petch along with Lord Cultural Resources.
Penfold Park is a public park managed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. It is named after Major-General Bernard Penfold, the first general manager of the Jockey Club who was in office from 1972 to 1979.
Happy Valley is an upper-income residential area in Hong Kong, located on Hong Kong Island. The area is bordered by Caroline Hill to the east, Jardine's Lookout to the south, Morrison Hill to the west, and Causeway Bay to the north. Administratively, it is part of Wan Chai District.
Silent Witness was an outstanding Thoroughbred racehorse who won his first 17 starts in sprint races in Hong Kong. He was ranked the world's top sprinter for three seasons.
Sha Tin, also spelt Shatin, is a neighbourhood along Shing Mun River in the eastern New Territories, Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Sha Tin District. Sha Tin is one of the neighbourhoods of the Sha Tin New Town project.
Sha Tin Racecourse is one of the two racecourses for horse racing in Hong Kong. It is located in Sha Tin in the New Territories. It is managed by Hong Kong Jockey Club.
The Hong Kong Sports Institute is a sports institute located in Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong. It is mandated to provide training to athletes, and also offers academic qualification in the field of sports training. The institute sponsors elite athletes and trains them as full-time employees, based on their talent and potential. The campus is located on reclaimed land on the bank of the Shing Mun River, next to the Sha Tin Racecourse.
Willy Kan Wai-yue (簡慧榆), was a popular and promising female apprentice jockey from Hong Kong, who rode to no fewer than 17 victories in her short career (1997–1999). She was the first female to ride in the Hong Kong Derby and was known as "Little Sister" due to her likable personality.
The Queen Elizabeth II Cup is a Group One Thoroughbred horse race at Sha Tin Racecourse in the New Territories, Hong Kong. Established in 1975 by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, it is run annually in April at a distance of 2,000 metres on turf. Prior to 1997 it was run at 2,200 metres. Sponsored by Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet since 1999, it currently offers a purse of HK$20 million (US$2.6 million)since 2014/15.
David E. Ferraris is a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Derby is a Hong Kong Thoroughbred horse race held annually since 1873. Restricted to horses four-years-old only since 1981, the race is run in mid-March and is the premier event on the domestic racing programme with a purse of HK$18 million.
Viva Pataca is a British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse, who achieved his greatest success when trained in Hong Kong.
Ambitious Dragon is a New Zealand-bred, Hong Kong based Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which began in 2010 he has won eleven races at Sha Tin Racecourse including the Hong Kong Mile, Hong Kong Classic Cup, Hong Kong Derby, Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Hong Kong Stewards' Cup and the Hong Kong Gold Cup. Ambitious Dragon was voted Hong Kong Horse of the Year for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons.
Flying Blue is a Hong Kong-based racehorse. He was one of the nominees of 2010–2011 Hong Kong Horse of the Year.
Irian is a German-bred Hong Kong-based racehorse. He was one of the nominees of 2010–2011 Hong Kong Horse of the Year.
Mighty High is a French-bred Hong Kong based racehorse. He was one of the nominees of 2010–2011 Hong Kong Horse of the Year.
Military Attack is an Irish-bred, Hong Kong trained Thoroughbred racehorse. Unraced as a two-year-old he showed promising form in Britain in 2011 before being sold to race in Hong Kong. He continued to show useful but unexceptional form before emerging as a dominant middle-distance performer in the early part of 2013, winning the January Cup, Hong Kong Gold Cup, Premier Plate, Queen Elizabeth II Cup and Singapore Airlines International Cup. In July 2013 at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards, he won three awards including the title of Hong Kong Horse of the Year.
Fairy King Prawn was an Australian-bred, Hong Kong-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. After being sold and exported to Hong Kong as a yearling he became one of the most successful and popular horses in his adopted territory. Equally adept as a sprinter or as a miler he won twelve of his twenty-six starts including the Chairman's Sprint Prize (twice) the Hong Kong Sprint, Hong Kong Stewards' Cup and Bauhinia Sprint Trophy. In 2000 he became the first Hong Kong horse to win a Grade One race abroad when he won the Yasuda Kinen in Japan. He won numerous awards including the title of Hong Kong Horse of the Year on two occasions. He was retired from racing in 2002 after undergoing surgery for serious leg injuries. After working for several years at a Hong Kong riding school he was sent into full retirement in New Zealand in 2011.
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