Following the two successful shipments of a total of 35 Racing Development Board (RDB) horses from Hong Kong to the Conghua Training Centre (CTC) on 12 June (Tuesday) and 14 June (Thursday), all horses have been settling extremely well in the Club’s state-of-the-art training centre.
Mr. William A Nader, Director of Racing Business and Operations, after walking the training facilities and inspecting the CTC trackwork on Wednesday morning, had high praise for the training environment and the smooth transition of the RDB horses to their new home.
“The horses and staff have adjusted well to the peaceful surroundings and magnificent features of the new training centre,” said Nader. Most of the horses began work in the trotting ring or on the small and large all-weather tracks from the day after their arrival. They all look healthy and relaxed and you can feel the excitement in the air.
“This is another big step forward to a brighter future as we move closer to the first shipment of horses from Sha Tin Racecourse to Conghua. It is very special.”
The first horses in-training will be shipped to CTC in mid-July, with nine Club trainers set to move to a dual-site model at the beginning of the new racing season. The training centre will officially open on 28 August with a special ceremony.
The Conghua Training Centre (CTC) will serve as a world-class facility for the training of Hong Kong’s thoroughbred racehorses.
Over the last four decades, Hong Kong’s horses have been stabled and trained at Sha Tin Racecourse. To supplement these facilities, for nearly 20 years the Hong Kong Jockey Club sought additional land in Hong Kong. Eventually it settled on the site where it had designed and built the equestrian venue for the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games.
Located approximately 200 kilometres from Hong Kong, the journey from Sha Tin Racecourse to CTC is about 3.5 hours by car and between four to five hours by specially-designed cross-boundary horse floats. These travel times, though new to Hong Kong, are standard practice in the sport worldwide, where horses invariably travel to many different racetracks in the course of a racing season.
At peak capacity, CTC could be home to more than 650 horses. Here they will have the benefit of a fully-equipped equine clinic and farrier forge, both facilities being significantly larger than those currently available in Hong Kong. A series of grass paddocks will enable horses to graze when rehabilitating or spelling, while a specially designed equine swimming pool will help horses maintain fitness.
The CTC will have four tracks – one turf track (2000m in circumference), two all-weather dirt tracks (respectively 1800m and 1600m in circumference) and a turf uphill gallop (1100m), which is the first of its kind in the Chinese Mainland or Hong Kong.
Owners can visit their horses each morning, or by appointment in the afternoon. An on-site Owners’ Lounge will provide refreshment and relaxation during their stay. Turf barrier trials will be held monthly and videos of these, along with daily trackwork, will appear on the Club’s website at the same time as trials or trackwork conducted in Hong Kong.