Mix Picks: Racetracks that play host

Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong

The Facility Besides introducing the civil service in Hong Kong, the British colonisers installed another institution – horseracing. Upon arriving in 1841, they lost no time in draining a malarial swamp to form a racetrack in Happy Valley. Except for a few years during World War II, the complex has seen non-stop action. The Hong Kong Jockey Club was founded in 1884, turning into a professional organisation in 1971. A second racecourse opened in Sha Tin in 1978. 

Venues to book Groups numbering 40 to 400 can be accommodated in a variety of function rooms with superb trackside views. Up to June 30, there is an Executive Set package (min 40 participants) starting from HK$468 (US$60) for a half day; HK$588 (US$75.75) for an Executive full day; and HK$658 (US$84.77) for a Deluxe Executive full day. Benefits include coffee and tea service throughout the meeting, use of in-house conference equipment and choice of buffet menus amonst others. Private boxes with extensive balconies also provide an ideal way to entertain valued clients and partners and are available for both day and night races. 

Contact banquet.rc@hkjc.org.hk, www.hkjc.com

Ellerslie Auckland Racing Club, Auckland, New Zealand

The Facility The Auckland Racing Club came about in 1874 when members of the Auckland Jockey Club and Auckland Turf Club integrated. Racing in Auckland, however, started even earlier – 32 years before – in Epsom Downs, three miles from the city. 

Venues to book There is a wealth of choices, both indoor and outdoor. Ellerslie Event Centre has over 26 rooms for 16 to 8,000 guests, with an adjacent garden, 250-room four-star hotel and nine-hole golf course. There are an additional 55 hectares of grounds to stage grand receptions and the horse stables in the Southern Pavilion provide a backdrop for events that are rich in character.

Contact www.ellerslie.co.nz


Dubai Racing Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Facility Horseracing kicked off in the Emirate in 1981 when a dusty camel track served as the site of the first thoroughbred derby, organised by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Mahktoum, who remains Dubai's ruler and an avid supporter of the sport. This paved the way to the Dubai World Cup, first staged in 1996 and which found a spectacular new home in 2010 in the Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse, said to be the world's largest integrated racing facility. This complex can seat over 60,000 and includes the adjoining 285-room Meydan Hotel.

Venues to book The Meydan Grandstand features 72 Hospitality Suites, some with private terraces and balconies facing the turf on levels three to seven and can cater to between 10 and 500 guests. In addition, there are five other grand banquet function rooms. 

Contact www.dubairacingclub.com 


Moonee Valley Racing Club, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Facility Established in 1883, it was the first Australian metropolitan track to conduct night racing and is the home of the famous Cox Plate Cup. It's just 10 minutes from Melbourne CBD and 15 minutes from Tullamarine Airport

Venues to book There are 18 function rooms capable of hosting gatherings for 40 people or cocktails for up to 2,000 people. Certain functions can even be staged on the lawns, while the Space Frame on the ground floor provides 1,600 sq m of covered area ideal for tradeshows and exhbiitions.

Contact valleyevents@mvrc.net.au, www.mvrc.net.au


Singapore Turf Club, Singapore

The Facility It started life in 1842 as the Singapore Sporting Club, operating the Serangoon Road Race Course in Farrer Park, moving to Bukit Timah in 1933, until it relocated to the Singapore racecourse in Kranji in 1999. It is the only horse-racing club in Singapore and the only authorised operator of horse racing and horse betting in the country. One of the highlights of the racing calendar is the S$3 million Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup and the S$1 million KrisFlyer International Print, both of which form part of the Singapore International Racing Festival.   

Venues to book There are two areas with event and entertainment spaces, at the racecourse and the "Winning Lounge". Those along the racetrack feature floor-to-ceiling windows allowing direct view of the action as well as betting booths. Those at the Winning Lounge can be set up for product launches and teambuilding.

Contact www.turfclub.com.sg

Margie T Logarta


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