Royal Ascot 2023

Ascot Racecourse and Hong Kong Jockey Club announce five-year partnership renewal

Ascot Racecourse and the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) are delighted to announce a five-year partnership renewal agreement for Pool Betting.

The deal will run from 1st July 2023 to 2028 and will continue to see the delivery of a dedicated HKJC feed from Ascot. The racecourse will also deliver a host of additional content to help raise awareness of the racing at Ascot in Hong Kong.

The renewal, signed by Michael Fitzsimons of the HKJC and Felicity Barnard from Ascot, is an extension of the partnership that launched in 2019. It covers the commingling of bets into the World Pool alongside an integrity feed and other information which HKJC will be permitted to transmit at its racecourses and betting outlets in Hong Kong, or re-transmit to television and radio broadcasters as well as mobile phone operators.

This year, Ascot will host seven World Pool days including all five days of Royal Ascot, King George day and the industry-owned QIPCO British Champions Day.

Felicity Barnard, Commercial Director at Ascot Racecourse, said: “This is exciting for Ascot and exciting for racing in general. The relationship has grown and grown and this renewal shows that the Hong Kong Jockey Club are invested in racing across the world. It gives us the opportunity to expand what we are doing on the global stage so we are absolutely thrilled.

“All the revenue we generate, we look to invest in the business so our partnership with the Hong Kong Jockey Club is incredibly important to allow us to invest a significant amount into prize money. That in turn generates better-quality runners and a better product for World Pool customers.”

Alastair Warwick, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, added: “Our relationship with the Hong Kong Jockey Club is an amazing partnership and shows how global the sport is becoming. I couldn’t be happier with the support that Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges and the team at the Hong Kong Jockey Club have provided.

“This is our fifth year of doing World Pool – the time has flown by. As one of the key instigators, it really doesn’t feel like it was five years ago that we were doing our first World Pool.”

Michael Fitzsimons, Executive Director, Wagering Products, at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “The partnership is great for us, for Ascot and for racing generally around the world. The continuity of big brands working together for the benefit of racing has been really important in bringing familiarity of the product, and of the betting markets, to customers around the globe. Working together to really promote racing in a truly global sense has been brilliant for everybody.

“We know that our customers are familiar with UK racing. They like Ascot and they like the brand of Ascot especially. Thousands of people will be watching Royal Ascot this week in Hong Kong and, when Wellington runs in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, I’m sure we will see a serious spike in the numbers. We are all very keen for Hong Kong to put its own horses on the map, and the World Pool unites everybody in a way that’s never really been done before and we are very proud of working with Ascot and other racetracks.”

On the significance of signing the deal here at Ascot, Fitzsimons added: “It’s important to show our commitment to our partners. We started together and it’s important that continuity extends into the future working together. Ascot do a lot for us and we help them with the brand coming into the Far East. It is a good partnership for everyone concerned.”

On how the World Pool helps to engage a younger, newer audience to racing, Fitzsimons said: “I think there’s several aspects to it. First of all, the peer-to-peer – you’re betting against somebody in Australia or Hong Kong – excites people. You are cheering your local horse. But also the tools that we are building for customers to really understand how they bet digitally – all the things they learned during Covid, when they were able to bet on stocks and shares, and quite complex products that we can now bring to them in a way they understand and are familiar with. Then lastly, the returns to racing have been really important for everyone concerned. We genuinely give back to grassroots racing and that’s the key that we are most concerned about and most excited, most proud about.”