The 1850 Annual Race Meeting was held on the 4th, 5th and 6th of February, after being postponed.
Hong Kong racing has a comparatively blank period in history, with only scarcely records or documentations.
These have been collected and complied with difficulties in the following presentation:
1. 【Notes on Pony and Horse Racing in Hong Kong 1845-1887】by Governor Henry May
2. 【The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser】(NSW : 1843 – 1893) – Abridged from the 《Overland Friend of China》
3. 【Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer】(NSW : 1845 – 1860) (about) Previous issue Saturday 1850-07-06
1850-02-04 The First Day of Annual Race Meeting
The first event was the Wongneichong Stakes for all ponies under 13 hands; weight for inches ; former winners of the race barred ;
entrance $3 each with $20 added —Once round and a distance.
Six Manila ponies, and one other, whether a Cape or China pony I have been unable to determine, started.
The race was won by Mr. Fletcher’s Manila pony CRUISHEEN (8 st.) ridden by Mr. Foster of the 95th Regiment, beating CREDITOR and GABRIEL GRUB.
The next race was the “Celestial Cup” value $150 presented by Mr. David Jardine for all horses ; weight 9 st. 7lb. for Arabs and 11st. 5lb. for Sydney and Cape-bred horses.
From the Garden turn once round and in. Five Sydney horses and three Arabs started.
Mr Dudgeon’s Arab GREAT WESTERN, ridden by Captain King of the 59th Regiment, won, beating KATHLEEN (Sydney), LOTTERY (Sydney), and four others.
It is recorded that Mr. R. (afterwards Sir Robert) Jardine riding a horse named MOSS TROOPER, the property of Mr. Jardine, hurt his leg by colliding in the race with “ the bamboo railing ”, he broke his leg.
The third race was the Valley Stakes for all ponies of 13 lbs. 2 inches and under; weight for inches ; former winners of the race to carry 7lbs. extra progressively.
Entrance $3 with $25 added — once round and a distance.
Mr. A. Scott’s TETOY carrying 9 stone,ridden by Mr. W. Dent, won from three other Manila ponies, beating PRINCE and CREDITOR.
The Arab Welter Stakes, for 50 dollars, weight 11st, were won by Mr. Bonham’s Arab TEMPTATION ridden by Mr. King of the 59th Regiment, beating RED GAUNTLET and THE HAJII, all Arabs.
The Scurry Stakes, for 20 dollars, for all ponies, at catch weights, won by Mr. King’s Manila pony GABRIEL GRUB, beating KILKENNY BOY, brought the first day to a close.
1850-02-05 The Second Day of Annual Race Meeting
The Plenipotentiary’s Cup for all horses, presented by H. E. the Governor Mr. G, Bonham, c .b
Arabs 9 st. 7 lb., Sydney and Cape horses 11 st. 5 lb., from the distance post twice round and in.
The race weights as in the Celestial Cup, was won easily by Captain King’s KATHLEEN, a Sydney mare ridden by Mr. de Montmorency (59th Regiment), beating ST. ANDREW (Arab), and four others,,
1850-02-06 The Third Day of Annual Race Meeting
A Plate, value 100 dollars, a Handicap (for all horses). 15-1/2 hands, carrying 12st. and 7lbs. allowed for every inch below. The lowest weight in the Handicap was 7 st. 7 lb.
Presented by Mr. G. Pereira, it was won by KATHLEEN (Sydney), carried 12 st. 13 lb, beating ANTELOPE (Arab), and others.
The Canton Cup, value 150 dollars, presented by the Canton Community for Arab horses only (9 st. 10 lb.), from the Garden turn once round and in, was won by Mr. Jardine’s ST. ANDREW (Mr.Armstrong 95th Regiment).
Mr. Bonham’s TEMPTATION (Mr. Foster,95th Regiment) was second, and Mr. Dudgeon’s GREAT WESTERN (Captain King, 59th Regiment) third, the latter being dead lame.
The Selling Stakes, for 25 dollars, for all ponies, were won by KILKENNY BOY, beating TOM THUMB.
The Pony Handicap Stakes, for 30 dollars was won by PRINCE, beating J.P.
The Handicap Stakes, for 50 dollars, for all horses (twice round and in, the longest race at the meeting), was won by KATHLEEN (Sydney, 12st. 13lbs.), beating TEMPTATION (Arab, 10st. 7lbs.), HAP HAZARD (Sydney, 10st. 7lbs.) and several others.
1850-02-07 two private matches.
1850-02-16 no less than five such matches, were run.
A pony handicap with weights ranging from 6 st. 7 lb. to 10 st. 7 lb. was also disposed of.
The meeting of 1850 is, however, described in《The China Mail》as the sixth annual meeting.
It may be assumed therefore that the first race meeting in Hongkong was held in 1845.
As it could has been a meeting in each year since that date.
CRUISKEEN, Irish & Scottish, a small pitcher or jug for holding liquor.
Kilkenny (Irish: Contae Chill Chainnigh), a county in Ireland, is part of the South-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster.
Welter or Welterweight is a weight class division in combat sports. Other sports to include a minimum weight division.
The Hajj (Arabic: حج Ḥaǧǧ “pilgrimage”) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims which must be carried out at least once in lifetime by all adult.
Catch Weight is a term used in combat sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts to describe a weight limit for a fight that does not fall in line with the traditional limits for weight classes. In boxing, a catch-weight is negotiated when the weigh-ins are conducted a day before the fight.
Tom Thumb is a character of English folklore. The History of Tom Thumb was published in 1621, and was the first fairy tale printed in English.
Acknowledgement to HKJC Racing Registry for offering record data.