Happy Valley – a night at the races

8 Oct

Since I took my hiatus from the blog earlier this year, there are lots of places that I have visited in the last six months – both for pleasure and business – that I’d like to share now that I have some more time to go back through my memories.  Enjoy!

During my trip to Hong Kong in April I went to Happy Valley for the first time.  Happy Valley is Hong Kong’s horse racing track and they have races every Wednesday night there.  We were doing a launch for a new product, so had invited partners to celebrate with us and hear a product overview.

Because of the crazy rain the three days previous I wasn’t really sure what to expect – or even if the horses would race, but luckily the rain started letting up just before we headed over.  The box was packed with people ready to gamble and eat (I think our product launch was just the excuse).  They had a mix of traditional Hong Kong favorites and classic western dishes and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The last time I had been at the races was when I was still working in Chicago at a summer outing to Arlington Race Track.  I didn’t remember much about betting and so had to ask advice from others and study the guide.  In addition – some of the names for the types of bets you could place were different as well because Hong Kong follows the British system instead of the American betting system.

I had decided before I went that I would be leaving after the third race because I had a phone call later that evening.  I was so caught up in eating that I missed the opportunity to place a bet on the first race, but for the second I studied my book and my horse came from behind!  It was amazing – my odds were pretty much the highest on the board and I won at a 9 to 1 ratio.

After such a great win, I didn’t bet on the last race and slipped out as the rest of my colleagues and partners settled in for a late night.

The lone photo I took as I headed back to the hotel.  I'm not sure I would describe Hong Kong as the "Equine Capital" - but it was a fun night!

The lone photo I took as I headed back to the hotel. I’m not sure I would describe Hong Kong as the “Equine Capital” – but it was a fun night!

I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Happy Valley and would gladly go back for another Wednesday evening of fun next time I’m in Hong Kong.

Have you tried something again after a long absence and had a great experience?  I am not a gambler (despite many actuaries being very serious about playing the odds, especially for poker) – but the win was a bit addictive.  Share your travel or local explorations!

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8 Responses to “Happy Valley – a night at the races”

  1. abc in shanghai October 8, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Next visit, I need to go there! There are particular horses that love to run in soggy mud – I believe they call ’em Mudders. My Father owned a couple race horses several years ago and learned a lot about the politics of the whole racing scene. Bet for fun b/c the odds are uncontrollable – I’ll take the lowest odds game in Vegas any day against a horse racing odds!

    • gkm2011 October 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      I know my win was complete luck – but going in and winning anything was fun! Mudders is a new term for me, but sounds interesting to watch!

  2. Every Day Adventures in Asia October 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    I used to go to the Brandon Fair with my grandmother and sister as a kid to see the ‘prize’ horses trotted about. They also had races which were great fun to watch.

    In Mumbai, I’ve been to a few Derby’s and enjoy watching but betting has never been my thing.

    Congrats on your win & thanks for sharing!!

    • gkm2011 October 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      It was a fun night – I think most events come down to friends and family – but the pretty ponies help!

  3. CrazyChineseFamily October 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    I am no good when it comes to betting on something. The only thing is started again was to go to gym after a four year break. Well, it feels horrible, every bit of my body is aching for two weeks straight now 😦

    • gkm2011 October 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

      Keep it up, you’ll feel better soon! Don’t want to bet on your health!

  4. expatlingo October 9, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    If you’re in Hong Kong on a weekend Shatin is also great for races!

    • gkm2011 October 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      I think I have heard Shatin mentioned but have never been there quite at the right time. Something else for the list!

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