The sport of harness racing -- or trotting -- is taking root in a region teeming with avoid punters -- South East Asia.
GV EXTERIOR Main entrance of Macao Trotting Club track
GV Row of flags lining racing rail, with grandstand in background PAN Along building
SV & SCU Crowd with two Hong Kong television performers seated (2 shots)
SCU Actor Cary Grant taking photograph
GV Lion dance being performed
SV Celebrities assembling for ribbon cutting ceremony, Gregory Peck approaching stand beside Macao governor General Melo Egidio
SCU Cary Grant and others simultaneously cutting ribbon
SV Police cordon and photographers
SCU Grant and Peck watching lion dance (2 shots)
SV NIGHT: Celebrities clambering into chariots for race (2 shots)
SV Trotting sulky decorated as chariot moving onto track
GV Crowd watching chariot trotting race (2 shots)
GV Crowd and SV Punters at betting windows (2 shots)
GV Trotting sulkies on far side of track as race gets underway, with crowd watching (2 shots)
GV Race in progress
SPORT: HARNESS RACING (TROTTING)
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Background: The sport of harness racing -- or trotting -- is taking root in a region teeming with avoid punters -- South East Asia. It received a blast of publicity on Saturday (6 September), when the Macau Trotting Club held its international grand opening on the island of Taipa. Among the guests were Hollywood film stars, Cary Grant and Gregory Peck, who both had races on the programme named after them.
SYNOPSIS: The gala opening of the thirty-five million U.S. Dollar complex took place just three years after its original conception by Mr Yip Hon, a millionaire businessman with interests in Hong Kong and Macao.
Among the notables he's invited were Hong Kong television performers. From the five-storey grandstand they had a good view of the musical entertainment and Mr. Grant, a keen trotting enthusiast.
Those punters who weren't completely absorbed in their form sheets could take in the colour of a traditional ion dance. This wasn't the first outing here for horses and riders. The inaugural meeting was held on August the third, and there'd been seven meetings since then. Gregory Peck took his place for the ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside the Macao Governor, General Melo Egidio.
Mr Yip Hon said the Macau Trotting Club has a twenty-year franchise to promote harness racing, as one means of boosting the tourist industry in Macao.
For those visitors who don't take either the sport or gambling seriously, the festivities included a chariot race, with the celebrities in decorated racing sulkier, or carriages. To provide a track of international standard, the builders had to lay down more than a million tonnes of filling. They also had to contend with two typhoons that held up construction.
The club has taken pains to ensure the quality of racing. They shipped in two hundred and fifty horses from New Zealand. After three months' local training, these horses are already in action. Another two hundred and fifty horses were brought in from australia, and they're being prepared for competition.