The Hong Kong Jockey Club cancelled its Wednesday night meeting in Happy Valley due to concern about protests as the race was to feature a horse partly owned by pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu.
The club said the cancellation was due to “the imminent threat to the safety of racegoers, jockeys and employees, and to the welfare of racehorses.”
“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 it should be cancelled in order to preserve the security and safety of people and horses,” it said.
“Our concerns are tied to potential social unrest in the vicinity tonight, the very real threat of a disturbance or possible violence at Happy Valley Racecourse, and uncertainty regarding transportation in and around Happy Valley and Causeway Bay for racegoers, jockeys and employees and horses entering or leaving the racecourse throughout the evening,” a Club spokesperson said.
Hong Kong has been gripped by months of protests, which were initially triggered by the introduction of an extradition bill easing the deportation of Hong Kong residents to China to stand trial. That bill has since been withdrawn, though the protests have continued, with demonstrators pressing wider demands for greater democracy.
Singapore police have busted at least two illegal gambling operations in the past week, while across Asia authorities have moved to stamp out illicit activities, from raids on premier league matches in India, to illegal number forecasting in Malaysia.