HKJC cancels Happy Valley meeting due to safety concerns over political unrest
Hong Kong Jockey Club has cancelled today's meeting at Happy Valley due to safety reasons.
Hong Kong has been the scene of unrest for the past five months due to anti-government rebellion and the tension between police, and protests have escalated over the past week with hundreds arrested and others injured. On Monday a protester was shot by the police.
Bus and train services across Hong Kong were cancelled on Wednesday due to vandalism while road traffic was also severely disrupted.
A statement released from the HKJC said: "We today announced that the race meeting at Happy Valley has been cancelled to ensure the safety of its employees and racegoers.
"The Club has been monitoring the situation in Hong Kong closely. It has conducted a thorough risk assessment of the race meeting tonight and concluded that the latest social unrest and public transportation situation throughout the territory do not support our employees and racegoers arriving and, particularly, departing from the racecourse smoothly and safely.
"In addition, all Club operations will be suspended."
It is the second time the HKJC has cancelled a race meeting at Happy Valley hours before the first race due to safety concerns, after the previous occurrence on September 18.
Wednesday's meeting was set to feature 2018 Victoria Derby winner Extra Brut, who was to have made his Hong Kong debut for trainer Frankie Lor after three lead-up barrier trials.
The HKJC has also released a statement denying a rumour that Sha Tin was being used as a police base. The course is set to host a meeting on Sunday featuring three Group 2 contests.
The statement read: "It has come to the attention of the Hong Kong Jockey Club that there is a rumour circulating on online platforms this evening that the Sha Tin Racecourse has been used as a police base. The Club would like to clarify that this is untrue.
"The fact is some police vehicles accessed the racecourse road without notifying the Club. The Police has not entered the Sha Tin Communications and Technology Centre [SCTC] or other Club facilities."
Sha Tin is set to host the Hong Kong Cup on December 8, its richest race of the year.
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