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Pools' Happy night

Singapore Pools is honoured by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Happy Valley races

The Singapore Pools brand continues to get recognised by its horse racing partners around the world.

After South Korea in September 2023 and South Africa in January, the Singapore gaming company was this time lending its name to a race in Hong Kong on Feb 21.

The HK$3.72 million (S$639,100) Singapore Pools Handicap Class 1 race (1,200m) at Happy Valley was captured by the David Hayes-trained Tomodachi Kokoroe, who was ridden by Mauritian jockey Karis Teetan.

Four representatives from Pools, headed by its chairman Kaikhushru S. Nargolwala and chief product officer Simon Leong, were on hand to celebrate with the winning connections after the event slated as Race 4.

“We are honoured by the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s inaugural naming of a race in recognition of Singapore Pools, a testament to our long-standing partnership since 2019,” said Leong.

“As Hong Kong races gain popularity in Singapore, we remain committed to continue delivering more high-quality races to our fans and nurturing a vibrant horse racing community.

“Together, we strive to elevate the sport to new heights and cultivate a shared passion that resonates across borders.”

That well-renowned Hong Kong racing fervour could not have been better epitomised at the busy business end of that race itself.

Tomodachi Kokoroe and Bundle Of Charm (Alexis Badel) were locked in a heads-up, heads-down battle, with the other six runners all bunched up behind.

For a few fleeting seconds, the eventual winner was even headed.

But, under Teetan’s punch, he dug deep to crawl back from behind Bundle Of Charm to win by a nose.

A former North Queensland six-time winner by an aggregate margin of 20 lengths when known as Bank Bank Bank, Tomodachi Kokoroe was not making headlines for the first time.

In December, he was the one who gave local hero Vincent Ho the decisive championship win in the last leg of the Longines International Jockeys’ Championship.