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Picture: Champions Day: the 17th and final World Pool raceday (Mark Cranham (Racing Post))

The World Pool attracted record turnover of £521 million in 2022 in what translates into a financial boost for British racing at a time of falling crowds and reduced domestic levels of betting.

The gross turnover at Britain and Ireland’s 17 World Pool days was up from £363m last year, a 44 per cent increase, after the final raceday at Ascot’s British Champions Day on Saturday.
Turnover on Champions Day was £27.9m, an increase of 43 per cent on last year’s £19.5m.
The World Pool, created by the Hong Kong Jockey Club in partnership with the UK Tote and Ascot, allows racegoers and remote punters to bet into a global pool covering more than 20 countries.
The result is enormous liquidity and a multi-million pound betting experience, which is proving popular with punters and generating a significant financial return for racing.
Champions Day followed the trend of other major Flat meetings in the summer, such as the record gross turnover of £59.5m achieved across the two days of the Epsom Derby meeting and the £97 million bet in the three days the pool operated at Glorious Goodwood.
Michael Fitzsimons, executive director of wagering products of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “We are delighted to see British and Irish World Pool days grow so strongly this year with the sporting action proving increasingly popular with racing fans, who appreciate seeing the best horses and jockeys competing at a wide variety of fantastic racecourses.”
Alex Frost, chief executive of the UK Tote Group said: “The implicit ambition of World Pool is to ensure an additive and more sustainable funding mechanism for horseracing, with wagering customers enjoying an improved value proposition.
“I would also like to offer my appreciation and thanks to the connections of horses who have won and competed in World Pool races this year, given the support of owners, trainers and jockeys is an essential part of World Pool’s growth in 2023 and beyond.”
The World Pool Moment Of The Year was launched this year for stable staff, and Alpinista’s groom Annabel Willis was the recipient of the inaugural prize on Champions Day for the scenes sparked after the Arc heroine’s success in the Yorkshire Oaks in August.
Willis will share the £34,000 prize with her colleagues at Sir Mark Prescott’s Heath House yard in Newmarket.
Frost said: “Everyone at the UK Tote is enormously proud to be part of World Pool as it continues to grow, thereby increasing both the financial return it contributes to British and Irish racing and the excellent value it creates for racing fans betting with the Tote.”