Australian John Moore started the horse racing season with a 55-1 treble at Sha Tin on Sunday as 49,000 racing fans were at hand.
Hong Kong was the host for the race, part of the 125th anniversary for the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), established 1884. The race was preceded by a dance featuring 125 lions.
Betting was slightly up this year, with HK$833m betting turnover (up from HK$830.6m in 2008). The 107.48 million US dollars Hong Kong saw in bets is a sign of strength both for horse racing and for the city's economy.
Hong Kong thrives on gambling, be it horse racing action or football, weekly lotteries and others. To increase revenue lost in the past year, the Hong Kong government has been given permission to arrange five extra race days for the year.
It is apt to quote the race winner John Moore who said after coming in first: "I've had a total of 11 winners in the past six season openings - it's a good tradition to carry on."
Cautious optimism alright.