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Gathering speed

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-08-26 08:01:04

Gathering speed

Chinese-Malaysian entrepreneur Teo Ah Khing (R) who founded the China Horse Club. [Photo provided to China Daily]

This was the fifth edition of the event, which has been held on an irregular basis.

And it was the first time that the festival has returned to Inner Mongolia.

In the Chinese mainland where thoroughbred racing has only been revived in recent years, knowledge of the sport is almost nonexistent, but the festival is changing things.

Sunday's race attracted about 1.4 million viewers via domestic live-stream websites.

Speaking of the event, Teo Ah Khing, a Chinese-Malaysian entrepreneur who founded the China Horse Club, says: "Our plan was always to move the CECF to different parts of China for the first few years to educate people.

"However, we have also been looking to set up a permanent base where we can host more regular racing events."

So, the racecourse in Ejin Horo Banner has been chosen to achieve Teo's goal.

Breeding hub

The race day also reveals the bigger role that Ordos may play in the future.

At the festival, it was announced that Singapore-based Desert Star Holding Limited, also owned by Teo, would cooperate with Yitai Group, a coal-mining colossus in Ordos, to establish possibly one of China's biggest thoroughbred breeding centers.

According to Li Chengcai, a board member running the center, the project costing 7 to 8 billion yuan is to cover more than 1,600 hectares, and will be completed in eight years in four phrases.

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