The Hong Kong International Races (HKIR), the marquee event of the island’s season, took place on 9thDec at Hong Kong Sha Tin Racecourse. With world-class jockeys and thoroughbreds, this international race has become one of the world’s richest race meetings with a total purse of almost $12 million. Glorious Forever, owned by Michael Kwan Wing Lok, committee member of RacingLand, sealed a victory at the Hong Kong Cup.
Although Hong Kong has one of the smallest horse populations in the world, it has positioned itself as global leader in thoroughbred racing. Begun in 1988, the Hong Kong Cup is a Group 1 flat horse race in Hong Kong which is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. For this year’s racing, 50 horses are selected, with local and international horse divided evenly, including nine Japan-based horses, eight horses with English connections, four from Ireland, two from France, and one each from Australia and Singapore.
Glorious Forever, the Archipenko full-siblings finished well down the field in the G2 Jockey Club Cup over the Sha Tin 2000 meters on 18thNovember prior to the barrier draw for the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup. Its jockey, Silvestre de Sousa, dominated the race from start to finish with the four-year-old gelding, and completed the 2,000-metre course in just over two minutes and one second. The result came with French rider Christophe Lemaire finished second on Deirdre and Australian jockey Zac Purton finished third on Time Warp. This marked the first time Hong Kong-trained horses took the crown in all four of the Longines races,
“It is incredible.!” Michael Kwan, the owner of Glorious Forever said, “He has shown everyone how brutally good he can be. It is not just a race. It is a spirit, the spirit of Hong Kong and the spirit of horse lovers. You will never know until you are one of the crowd shouting for the race.”
Michael also extended his love for horse racing to a horse racing blockchain platform called RacingLand. He resumes a role as a key committee member and advisor at RacingLand. When taking about the horse racing industry, Michael Kwan said, “Horse Racing is my passion. The industry has grown into a whopping US 100-billion-dollar. RacingLand gives more people opportunities to take part in owning a horse and be a part of the whole ecosystem from media to exchange and also gaming. But more importantly, I hope the new technology (blockchain) brings in new people who wants to know more about horses together easier and quicker and enjoy the sense of happiness and achievement together.”