OUR MEMORIES
1946-01-01 inaugural Raceday after liberation


Inaugural Raceday held by the Hong Kong Services Race Club after the Hongkong Liberation

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1945-12-26 ‘Racing at the Valley’ was announced and published.
1945-12-31 was the Final gallop.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

1946-01-01, after the Japanese occupation, a more formal race meeting with official model was not held until this New Year’s Day.
About thirty pre-war race ponies were mustered, and about a dozen Army mounts.
A well-remembered pre-war pony, MAYFAIR (Lt. Gwyther), won the first race, the Imphal Cup (Four furlongs).

 

 

RECORDS

 

It was held at Happy Valley, in aid of the Commander-in-Chief’s Hong Kong Distress Fund.
Rear-Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt, Admiral Baron Fraser, Major-General F W Festing and Brigadier Fellows were among the spectators.
The Royal Marine band of HMS Duke of York played at intervals between the races.
Handicaps were in yards, the five events varying from a six furlong Derby to a three furlong scurry.
The Happy Valley course was new to the ponies.
The starter was the famous jockey, Mr V V Needa.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Race 1 The Impha Cup Four furlongs Distance handicap:-
Winner $100, second $50, third $25
7 starters
Started the race, BILLY (L/Cpl Peeder) and MOUSE (Cpl Steed) ran badly on the outside.
MAYFAIR, the hot favourite, ridden by Lieut Gwyther, passed the winning post first, won 5 lengths in front of MOUSE.
The second placed pony romped home a comfortable second by 8 lengths. BILLY came third.
MAYFAIR ‘s lower body was shaved, it was so attractive on the whole running.
1 MAYFAIR (Lieut Gwyther)
2 MOUSE (Cpl Steed)
3 BILLY (L/Cpl Ford)
won by 5 lengths; 8 lengths
Time: 1 min 10.1 secs

 

 

Race 2 The Benghazi Handicap Four furlongs Distance handicap:-
Winner $100, second $50, third $25
8 starters
The favourite, PRINCE, which had given such a fine performance at Sheung Shui, finished among the “also rans.”
It was ridden by Cpl Payne, fated out of the race at finish, because it had displaced to turn the bend, seemed no way to come up.
JACKIE ridden by LAC Towell, a rank outsider which carried only 184 win tickets.
But JACKIE was benefited by a good start, turned into the led when rounding the bend.
Then the best dividend was paid of the day, $44.7.
1 JACKIE (LAC Towell)
2 TOM (col Perceval-Price)
3 BLUE BIRD (LAC Doherty)
won by 4 lengths; 3 lengths
Time: 1 min. 6-3/5 secs.

 

 

Race 3 The Derna Derby Six furlongs Distance handicap:-
Winner $100, second $50, third $25
6 starters
It was the big race of the day.
SANCI (Lt Col Gibson), it carried 1,588 win tickets, no doubt, it was the favourite, and a pretty good return to the backers, odds $9.5.
1 SANCI(Lieut Gibson)
2 RESALDAR(Lt-Comdr Howes)
3 AUTUMN ROSE(LAC Gay)
won by many lengths; 5 lengths
Time: 1 min. 32-2/5 secs.

 

 

Race 4 The Hong Kong Dollars Three furlongs for Mongolian ponies:-
Winner $100, second $50, third $25
9 starters
Another good dividend was returned by JEANIE ridden by Bugler Larkin. The dividend was $20.90 for a win.
TOJO (Pte Flemming), hot faviourite, a winner at the Sheung Shui meeting, carrying 60 lbs.
So it was hard to find space to move up among the ponies, finally came in second with exhaustion.
MONGOLIAN FOX (LAC Towell) was third.
The race was keenly contested.
1 JEANIE (Bugler Larkin)
2 TOJO (Pte Flemming)
3 MONGOLIAN FOX (LAC Towell)
won by 1 length; 2 lengths
Time : 54.4 secs.

 

 

Race 5 The Rangoon Four furlongs Distance handicap:-
7 starters
Because of LADY JANE did not turn up in the race, TONY became the favourite.
It shot forward in a powerful burst after turning the bend, he made a reward to his racing fans.
1 TONY(Sgt Thom)
2 NIGGER(Pte Valentine)
3 DOREEN(L/Cpl Pedder)
won by many lengths; 2 lengths
Time : 1 min. 4-4/5 secs.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Riding honours were evenly distributed, the five events being won by different riders.
For a long while there were no racing in Hong Kong Island.
Through Tickets were issued carrying Through Number on the cash sweep for every race of the day.
Cash sweeps at $2 each were well patronized.
Nearly $4,000 was paid to the holder of the winning ticket in the last race.
While in other races, the first prize amounted to $3,000.

 

 

REFERENCE

 

Imphal, the city of Imphal is the capital of the Indian state of Manipur. The ruins of the Palace of Kangla, the royal seat of the erstwhile Kingdom of Manipur.

 

Derna (Arabic: درنة Darnah) is a port city in eastern Libya. The city was also the location of the famous Battle of Derna (1805), the first victory achieved by the United States Military on foreign soil.

 

 

RELATED LINK

 

Photo Gallery

 

Video Showcase

 

 

Acknowledgment to Mr Lacuda Mengnah or relevant content.

 

 

 


 

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