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Excellent prospects in China For Horse Racing

22 April, 2008

To: Chief Reporter

From: Diane Keenan- CCC Communications Team

CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL MEDIA RELEASE


Excellent prospects in China for New Zealand's horse racing industry

From Diane Keenan who is with the Mayor's delegation in China

China will be tapping into Canterbury's horse racing industry for horses
and expertise when the sport is launched in Wuhan, Christchurch's
Friendship City in China, next year.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and his delegation yesterday visited the
Orient Lucky Horse Racing Club, the organisation which is pioneering
horse racing in China. Following the signing of the Friendship City
relationship between Christchurch and Wuhan in 2006, the Canterbury
Jockey Club has developed strong business links with the Wuhan Club. It
is the only outside club to have such a relationship.

Canterbury Development Corporation's Eugene Feng has been working
alongside New Zealand horse racing consultant Murray Acklin to link the
potentially multi-billion dollar fledgling Chinese industry with
Christchurch.

When the delegation visited, the Wuhan complex was a hive of activity
with two large grandstands under construction either side of the main
grandstand. The racecourse already boasts a full-sized track and stables
for the local horses the club is trialling at present. However the club
is developing for thoroughbred racing and is looking to not only buy
horses from New Zealand in future, but also to engage expertise in every
aspect of the industry.

Orient Lucky Horse chairman Jackie Wu said that during visits to New
Zealand over the past two years, he and his team had visited horse
studs.

"We are very aware of the excellent quality of New Zealand horses and
the international standing that your industry has in the world. We will
be buying horses from you as we know you breed horses that can win the
Melbourne Cup," he told the delegation.

"China is developing and I am confident that there are a number of
people in this country who, when they have the opportunity, will want to
own and race a horse."

The new industry is strongly supported by the local Wuhan Government.
Wuhan is the only Chinese City to be granted a permit for horse racing
and gambling for a two-year trial beginning next year. Gambling on
horses is currently illegal in China.

"The relationship between Wuhan and Christchurch is already strong and I
can see the cooperation we have with your city will only increase," Mr
Wu said.

Mr Parker said the Free Trade Agreement signed between China and New
Zealand in Beijing earlier this month had increased the potential for
cooperation even further.

"A very enterprising group of people in Christchurch and Wuhan, who are
already ahead of the game, are perfectly poised to make this new horse
racing industry happen in China. Given that the industry is starting
from scratch here, the opportunity for us to sell our horses and
expertise to Wuhan is huge. One of their dreams is that one day they can
emulate New Zealand with a horse from China winning the Melbourne Cup.
They know that they can source such a horse from our country."

In the last two years Wuhan Jockey Club officials have attended the New
Zealand Cup and Show Week carnival in Christchurch while a delegation of
trainers and jockeys from Riccarton visited Wuhan two years ago.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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