After 60 years in the wilderness, horse racing returns in the People's Republic of China this Saturday in what will be a major day for the sport and the Chinese gamblers. No race meetings have been held since the Republic was created back in 1949 and the return of horse racing has taken some by surprise. At the moment this is purely an experimental project to see if the sport will take off amongst the Chinese public and possibly the worldwide horse racing community.
There will be a prize fund of 120,000 Yuan for the seven race card and although gambling will be allowed it will all be done at fixed prices which is effectively a "horse lottery". The first meeting will be held at Wuhan which was one of the leading horse racing circuits prior to the sport being banned back in 1949. If horse racing takes off in China the potential is enormous as many of the population enjoy a flutter at the bookmakers and would welcome the reintroduction of all levels of horse racing to the country.
Fingers crossed that this week's seven race card is successful and we see the sport re-emerge in the Far East.