World Pool Sees Strong Start with Irish and German Derbies

The World Pool, the largest globally commingled horse racing pools powered by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), kicked off on a high note with the Curragh and Hamburg hosting races on Sunday. The total turnover reached HK$246.9 million (€28.9m/£24.9m) across the eight races in Ireland, including the historic Irish Derby, and the Deutsches Derby, the first World Pool race in Germany.

In a momentous achievement, Aidan O’Brien, the trainer, celebrated his 100th success in a European Classic as Auguste Rodin emerged victorious in the Irish Derby. Meanwhile, Fantastic Moon, trained by Sarah Steinberg and ridden by Rene Piechulek, replicated his sire Sea The Moon’s success by winning the Deutsches Derby.

Racing fans enjoyed excellent value as Tote+ Win outperformed the Starting Price (SP) in six out of the eight races on Irish Derby Day. The Tote+ Win overround stood at 107%, significantly lower than the industry SP overround of 125%.

Several races resulted in generous payouts, including Harry’s Hill (Race 3 – Rockingham Handicap) with a Tote payout of 20.63 compared to the odds of 14/1 (+38%), Bold Discovery (Race 7 – Celebration Stakes) with a payout of 27.89 compared to 18/1 (+47%), and Safecracker (Race 8 – Ragusa Handicap) with a payout of 11.99 versus odds of 15/2 (41%).

The World Pool Moment of the Day showcased a heartwarming family connection. Megan Hassett, groom of Harry’s Hill, claimed the victory in the Rockingham Handicap, trained by her father Martin and ridden by her cousin Wayne. Megan’s achievement earned her the €4,000 prize and the chance to compete in the World Pool Moment of the Year, where she could win a VIP trip to Hong Kong next year.

The successful start of the World Pool at the Irish and German Derbies demonstrates the growing enthusiasm for globally commingled betting on horse racing. The HKJC-powered World Pool offers an exciting platform for punters around the world to engage with these prestigious racing events and enjoy the thrill of wagering on international races.

Michael Fitzsimons, Executive Director, Wagering Products, at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “It was a really pleasing start to our first ever World Pool race in Germany with the Deutsches Derby and our first ever meeting at the Curragh on Irish Derby Day.

“The racing was fantastic, with a really strong mix of Group races and competitive handicaps, and there were lots of interesting stories throughout the day. We would like to thank all of our partners who really got behind it and we look forward to growing this day even further in the future.”

Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive Officer, The Curragh Racecourse, said: “The Curragh Racecourse was delighted to participate in the Tote World Pool for the first time for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby meeting last Sunday and we were delighted with the response of World Pool patrons.

“Good field sizes and competitive racing were the order of the day and history was made as Auguste Rodin completed the Epsom Derby/Irish Derby double, providing trainer Aidan O’Brien with his 100th European Classic winner and jockey Ryan Moore with his very first success in the Irish Derby.

“World Pool betting proved popular with both Irish and international punters, delivering turnover on the day of €25.8m across eight races and online Win dividends exceeding SP in six races, and matching on the remaining two with Tote Guarantee in place.”

Jason Morris, HRI Director of Racing and Strategic Projects, said: “Horse Racing Ireland and Tote Ireland were extremely pleased with the very strong results produced by the first Tote World Pool at the Curragh Racecourse, both in terms of the winning dividends and the overall turnover levels on and off course.

“We look forward to building on this successful start and growing future international interest levels further through our excellent relationship with the Hong Kong Jockey Club team.”

Gerhard Schoeningh, Chairman of German Racecourse Association (BGG GmbH), said: “The German Derby was the first World Pool event for us and we are delighted to be able to showcase our top staying horses to a worldwide audience. The much-enhanced pool size also boosted German stakes by a gratifying 33% compared to last year.

“World Pool customers can look forward to seeing the proven 2400 metre Derby horses competing in the Grand Prix races in the summer and autumn, next in the Grosser Preis von Berlin on 13 August.”

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