A highlight of the global horse-racing calendar, the Longines Hong Kong International Races—an event that was founded back in 1988 and returns in 2017 for its 31st edition—marks the year’s final coming together of elite talent. Considered the Turf World Championships, the event’s four prestigious races bring together leading horses, jockeys, trainers and owners from across the globe to compete before tens of thousands of racing fans at Sha Tin Racecourse.
Now placed among the most important races worldwide, the four races—the Longines Hong Kong Cup, Longines Hong Kong Mile, Longines Hong Kong Sprint and Longines Hong Kong Vase—are worth a combined HK$84.5m, with the Cup ranked at number 15 in the World’s Top 100 G1 Races of 2016. In 2017 the four races will unfold on Sunday December 10th.
Longines Hong Kong Cup
Following on from world-renowned champions such as Fantastic Light, Vengeance of Rain, Pride and Ramonti, the 2016 Cup winner was Japan’s champion horse Maurice with jockey Ryan Moore. An up-to-date list of this year’s participants can be seen on the official site.
Longines Hong Kong Mile
It was Hong Kong’s prized horse Beauty Only that triumphed in this race in 2016. The race that was established in 1991 has since become the second of Hong Kong’s celebrated international races. Good Ba Ba from the USA is the only horse to have won the Longines Hong Kong Mile three times. Take a look at this year’s line-up on the website.
Longines Hong Kong Sprint
In 1999 the Hong Kong Jockey Club completed its creation of the elite end-of-year race day by establishing the fourth race, the Longines Hong Kong Sprint. The event was then named the top ranked sprint in the world in 2016. The 1,200-meter race was won last year by Aerovelocity for Hong Kong with jockey Zac Purton. Get updates on who’ll be competing this year on the race’s web page.
Longines Hong Kong Vase
The third race to have been established, the Longines Hong Kong Vase was first held in 1994. Satono Crown of Japan won the 2,400-meter race in 2016 with jockey Joao Moreira, joining past prestigious winners such as the English race mare Ouija Board and Ireland’s Highland Reel. See this year’s line-up on the website.
Longines International Jockeys’ Championship
On December 6th the participating jockeys will go head to head at Happy Valley racecourse.
The Barrier Draw results will be announced on December 7th at this official ceremony in the Sha Tin Racecourse Parade Ring.
The VIP Gala Dinner is set to take place on December 8th at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It’s here that the Longines World’s Best Jockey Award is presented.
The morning of December 9th will see race goers come together for breakfast beside the turf of Sha Tin Racecourse with the opportunity to meet trainers and jockeys.
Longines Prize for Elegance
The Longines Prize for Elegance will be held on December 10th, awarding the best dressed attendee with a Longines watch presented by Longines Ambassador of Elegance Eddie Peng.
The Races at Sha Tin Racecourse
December 10th will then see the Longines Hong Kong International Races unfold in a day complete with opening ceremony, variety show and closing pyrotechnic show.
WHERE TO EAT
At Sha Tin Racecourse, race goers can dine on international buffet at restaurant Legends, stop by the recently opened café Jump and take in the view of the racetrack from the Roof Deck @ 2M. Jun Hui Ting offers commentary services in private boxes, Pak Sing Restaurant provides uninterrupted track views through its floor-to-ceiling windows and Hay Market combines a contemporary dining space across two floors with an interactive racing experience and intercontinental cuisine.
Away from the racecourse, seek out the Elite Traveler line-up of the city’s best restaurants.
To find out where to stay during your time here, take a look at our pick of the best hotels in Hong Kong.