World Pool, the largest globally commingled horse racing pools created and powered by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), got off to a great start at the Curragh and Hamburg on Sunday with total turnover of HK$246.9m (€28.9m/£24.9m) across the eight-race card in Ireland and the Deutsches Derby, the first ever World Pool race in Germany.
History was made in the Irish Derby with Auguste Rodin giving his trainer Aidan O’Brien an incredible 100th success in a European Classic, while Fantastic Moon emulated his sire Sea The Moon by winning the Deutsches Derby for Arc-winning jockey Rene Piechulek and his partner and trainer Sarah Steinberg.
There was yet more fantastic value for racing fans with Tote+ Win beating SP in six of the eight races on Irish Derby Day and Tote+ Win overround as 107% compared to industry SP overround of 125%.
There were three large overpays with Harry’s Hill (Race 3 – Rockingham Handicap) paying 20.63 on the Tote compared with 14/1 (+38%), Bold Discovery (Race 7 – Celebration Stakes) paying 27.89 compared with 18/1 (+47%) and Safecracker (Race 8 – Ragusa Handicap) paying 11.99 versus 15/2 (41%).
The World Pool Moment of the Day was a truly family affair with the €4,000 prize going to Megan Hassett, groom of Harry’s Hill, who won the Rockingham Handicap in the tightest of finishes. Trained by her father Martin and ridden by her cousin Wayne, Megan will also be entered into the World Pool Moment of the Year where she could win a VIP trip to Hong Kong next year.
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 per cent 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.”