1904-02-23 Annual Race Meeting (The 1st Day)

Way to Go; Race to Show





1904, the important Central Reclamation filled in what was popularly known as Central Bay, in the Island’s main business district, was completed.
Its principal promoter was the Club’s Chairman, Sir Paul Chater.
Thereafter, the reclamation moved the waterfront out from Des Voeux Road to Connaught Road, and on it were built the Post Office, the Hong Kong Club, the Cable Office, and big office-blocks.


With the end of the Boxer (Yihetuan) troubles, the China pony returned in strength.
The Australia NSW Walers faded from the scene.
In the Annual Race Meeting , only one race each day was for Walers:
the Foochow Cup, the Professional Cup and the Phaethon Stakes.
The best of the three fields was seven starters.





1904-02-23 Tuesday, Annual Race Meeting 1st Day


The HKJC‘s Race Meeting was inaugurated in glorious weather.
A gentle breeze tempered the sun’s warm rays, and the day was as delightful as the traditional spring day of old England.
All the private race-stands were in gala dress; bunting lent colour to the scene.
The concourse of people in holiday attire bare testimony to the popularity of Hongkong’s racing carnival.
The ladies were in their most becoming costumes, and looked radiantly beautiful as they paced the lawn in front of the race-stands.
Race-goers eagerly discussed the chances of favourite horses or jockeys or indulged in the mild excitement of the sweepstake and Pari-Mutuel.
The jockeys in their gaudy silk jackets added an air of gaiety to the scene.
This was one of the most entrancing that Hongkong had witnessed for many a year.
The centre of the Racecourse and adjoining heights were crowded with Chinese, mostly sombrely attired in the prevailing tints of blue affected by the Chinese.
They divided their attention between the races and gaming tables.
These practices have been inseparable features of all race meetings in every country and in every clime.


The Bank Mess appeared among the owners in a period of which no record remains.
1904-02-23_03, Mr Black mounted PERSISTENCE, owner Wayfoong, placed 12th in the field of 20, 3/4 mile at the Valley Stakes.
Our first trace of Mr Wayfoong is as entering one pony, PERSISTANCE.
ROCKET and STANDARD made a disappointing display in the Valley Stakes.
Both were fancied, and Mr Paul (Chater)’s FISCAL had a Iarge following only the latter showing flattering form.


Mr John Johnstone of Jardines‘, who made his name first in Shanghai, came down to ride here at the Annual Meeting.

For his own mounts, he added to the Ewo colours, silver buttons and a cerise cap.


Mr Mackie, rode FUN, placed 7th .

Later, he became the Chairman of HKJC in 1929.


Messrs Wingard and Cire (Moller) chose “Blue and white with red anchor”.


1904-02-23_06, the 32nd Derby, the principal event, Mr Buxey (Mody)’s CORONET ROSE being a deserving winner.

Mr Ellis Kadoorie (later Sir Ellis) had a string of four ponies, one of which, named CHIEFTAIN, was second.





His Excellency Mr F. H. May, C.M.G., the Officer Administering the Government, arrived promptly on the scene, accompanied by Mrs May and his A.D.C., Captain Hurly.
Back in Hong Kong from Peking in 1891, Mr May owned one or two ponies.
He personally supervised their training, riding them himself.
When Colonial Secretary, he had two, named BLUE SKIN and YELLOW SKIN.


Governor Sir Matthew Nathan in this Annual Race Meeting did not attach his name to the Cup, which was called thereafter “The Governor‘s Cup”.


The Club had now completed twenty years of existence.
Two of the members present at the original meeting in 1884 were still active as officials — the Chairman, Sir Paul Chater, and the Secretary, Mr John Grant.


Because of a great increase in the clerical work, the Club employed the first full-time staff, a paid Secretary.





960 meters = 1/2 mile 170 yards; 1207 meters = 6 Furlong; 1609 meters = 1 mile; 1766 meters = 1 mile 171 yards; 2012 meters = 1-1/4miles; 2816 meters = 1-3/4 miles.


【Phaethon】means “shining” was the son of the Sun-God Helios in Greek Mythology. He was arrogant and self-abased. Phaethon was destroyed after stealthily drove the Chariot with its fiery horses which even Helios himself had found it difficult to control.





Photo Gallery


Video Showcase


Connected Content



Acknowledgment to Mr Lacuda Mengnah; Mr Peter Yuen; and Mr Donald Tsai; HKJC Archives; Hong Kong Racing Museum for relevant content.





You need to log in to vote

The site requires users to be logged in before able to vote for this post.

Alternatively, if you do not have an account yet you can create one here.