Over €17 million wagered as Ireland's first Tote World Pool event proves popular

Irish racing's first venture into the Tote's World Pool initiative has been described as a popular fixture with international punters after over €17.1 million (£14.6 million) was wagered on day one of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.

No previous meeting in Ireland had opened up its pools to the Hong Kong Jockey Club-hosted operation that engages with punters in over 20 leading racing nations worldwide, but total pool sizes were said to be comparable with other single World Pool fixtures this year.

Coral-Eclipse day at Sandown and Ascot's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes card yielded pools of £17.2m and £10.2m respectively.

This comes despite a four-runner field for the Irish Champion Stakes ruling out the ability to offer all exotic bets, including the Swinger, which is popular in Hong Kong where known as the Quinella Place.

At least seven runners in each race are required for this option to be offered.

Reflecting on the first World Pool event to take place on the same weekend as racing was held in Hong Kong, Tote Ireland's general manager Ross Kierans said: "We were delighted that the Hong Kong Jockey Club made Irish Champion Stakes Day a World Pool event for the first time and that the day proved popular with racing fans around the world.

"The bigger pools and value available on provided customers with a strong betting proposition. We look forward to continuing work with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and all involved in World Pool as it grows and develop."

Leopardstown chief executive Tim Husbands believes the presence of the global initiative potentially increased international interest in the track's stellar eight-race card last Saturday.

"Everything went very well logistically in terms of the technical side of it," Husbands said. "I think as a result of World Pool there was probably an increased global interest in the Irish Champion Stakes and the weekend overall.

"Hopefully this is the first of many occasions that World Pool visits these shores."

Performance statistics for the meeting provided by the Tote showed the Tote+ win price online beat the industry starting price in six out of the eight races at Leopardstown.

There was one overbroke market – betting to less than 100 per cent – on in the Irish Champion Stakes. According to Tote officals, their average overround was 4.5 per cent on Saturday in comparison to 20.6 per cent with bookmakers.