End of racing in Macau, but it started as a harness racing complex.

News that racing in Macau will end after Macau Jockey Club had reached an agreement with the government to end its concession, which had initially been slated to run until 2042, on April 1 this year.

It should be remembered that back in 1977 the complex on Taipa Island originally was constructed as a harness racing complex for $42 Million US Dollars.

Australian harness racing Hall of Famer Ken Dyer was employed to set up the complex By April 1980 the trainers, assistants, and their families had arrived, and accommodation was found, and 500 horses purchased in Australia and New Zealand were shipped to the island.

The legendary race caller Bruce Skeggs was the club’s first race caller in 1980 and New South Welshman Greg Tsolakis was the leading driver in the club’s first season with Max Evans runner-up. Tsolakis trailed Evans going into the final night but drove 5 winners that evening to snatch the premiership.

Movie stars found their way from Hollywood to the island track to promote harness racing as the first meeting commenced in September 1980 names like Kerry Grant, Gregory Peck,

Some of the drivers to grace the Macau circuit were Champion News South Wales driver Kevin Newman, South Australian Max Evans dubbed Superman of the Sulky, John (Bulldog) Nicholson won a Macau International Invitation Series, Jack Tritton Bruce Cashman, Jack Kelly, Jack Patrick (SA), Bill Davies (Victoria) , Reg Hubbard (Queensland) and Val Pereira (WA)

Macau is the second country to close racetracks following Singapore late last year and with the world economic situation Governments around the globe are cutting funding to racing.

Harness Racing in Macau in the 1980's