Horse racing has been a part of Hong Kong’s social life since a race course was built on swampy land in 1845 by the British who probably felt that some excitement was needed in their lives. Rebuilt in 1995 the Happy Valle Race Course has remained as popular as ever as horse racing is the only form of gambling licensed in Hong Kong. In the heart of Wan Chai,Cosmo Hotel Hong Kong a popular 4 star hotel Hong Kong offers a superb location that has easy access to all popular city destinations.
The Hong Kong Racing Museum located on the second floor of the Happy Valley Stand of the race course opened in 1996. Four galleries spread over 6,000 sq feet trace the origins and history of the Happy Valley and Sha Tin Race Courses, the famous horses who ran there and the people instrumental in making racing the popular sport that it is. Origin of Our Horses is the gallery dedicated to tracing the route taken by the horses to arrive in Hong Kong. Shaping Sha Tin shows the origins of the second race track in the city that is dedicated to week end racing. Understanding Horses is all about the winners of the various races throughout the racing history. A model of a typical stable, the skeleton of Silver Lining a three times winner of Champions and the Charter Cup as well as many other races and voted the Horse of the Year three times are among the exhibits. Another arresting exhibit is the model of the Triple Crown winner River Verdun depicted in a stable complete with Fung Shui ornaments. One gallery is dedicated to the history of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and its charitable activities. Other interesting items displayed here include medals, race programs, machines used to issue betting tickets till the 1980s, photo albums thick with photos of winning horse, jockeys and trainers. A cinema and a souvenir shop with lots of horse and race course themed products are also on the premises.
Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.