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The Hong Kong Cup field rounds the first turn. Eventual winner Eagle Mountain is mid-pack with the yellow silks.

2008 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races

Date: 12/15/08

Cathay Pacific International Races day at Sha Tin is the biggest sporting event in Hong Kong. A crowd of over 52,000 was on hand and they pushed HK$1.01 billion ($130 million U.S.) through the windows for the 10-race card. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's CEO, said, "It was an outstanding day. We had the best betting turnover since 2002 and that is sensational. I thought the atmosphere was the best ever and we saw that you can come from all around the world to win races here. The day had everything: brilliant winners, hard luck stories and fairytales. We believe these are the Turf World Championships and it's great to see the meeting going from strength to strength."

Fans were not only treated to world-class horse racing but there was also a lot of other entertainment for them to enjoy before, during, and after the races. Here are some photos of what fans experienced at Sha Tin on Sunday afternoon.
The crowded stands at Sha Tin just before the Hong Kong Vase went to post.
    
And the equally crowded stands at Happy Valley on Wednesday night for the International Jockey Championship.
The covered walking ring and paddock at Sha Tin has a retractable roof.
    
The opening entertainment on International Races day started off with Cantonese pop star Sherman Chung. Yes, Sherman is the girl.
The second act to perform during the opening was the duet of Keith Wong and Alex Wu.
    
They had quite a few fans in the audience.
Next to perform during the opening was the Australian magic act Magic2, featuring Michael Boyd and Cathie Costello.
    
They performed a variety of illusions including this one with her floating in the air supported by a sword on only one side.
The final act during the opening was Hong Kong singer and actress Joey Yung. She also performed the national anthem later on during the opening ceremonies.
    
She also had a very large and vocal fan club in attendance, all wearing matching purple and green jackets.
The horses break from the gate for the 2008 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup.
    
The horses for the 2008 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase pass by for the first time. The finish line arch was also used as a backdrop for the winner's circle photos for the four international races.
Traffic in Hong Kong can get really bad. This is the traffic jam heading into the tunnel back to Hong Kong Island on Sunday after the races.
    
The Hong Kong skyline with the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in the front.
Many of the buildings in Hong Kong are lit up special for Christmas and there is a laser show every night at 8pm. Here is a shot of some of the building taken from the ferry with the lights reflected on the water.
    
Here is another view of more of the lights taken from across the harbor in Kowloon.
Murray House is a Victorian-era building built in 1844 that was relocated from Central to Stanley in Hong Kong. The Gala Party for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races was held there on the Friday before the races. This view is from the top of the mall next door and shows the end of the building.
    
Another view of Murray House taken from ground level which shows the front of the building.

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