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Shanghai Race Club game – 

Delight your friends and family with this beautifully designed, exciting gift created by Byron Constable from Great Britain.

The game masterfully places you at the centre of the action in Shanghai on a legendary day in 1934, when the race for the Shanghai Cup, China’s most sought after horse racing trophy, is taking place. As a wealthy member of the exclusive Shanghai Race Club you speed around Shanghai in your exotic sports car buying the racehorses that you believe will win this race and bring you fame and glory you deserve.

Game play is simple to learn, fast and captivating, luring you back into another try at winning this highly prized horse racing trophy The board game case is designed to be a treasure to own, created in the style of a 1930’s champagne crate. The game items, custom made in 925 silver, can also be worn as collectable bracelet charms and are finished in white gold to enchant you and your friends with their shine everytime you open the box.

“The game of the century”, Peter Hibbard, MBE Author of The Bund

INTRODUCTION TO THE SHANGHAI RACE CLUB

The Shanghai Race Club was officially established by the British in Shanghai as a race horse owners club in 1862. The story of the SRC over the ensuing 80 years is very similar to story of The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), both becoming the defining institutions for high society in their respective regions and towering authorities on racing. By the early 1900′s there were even specially designated races and trophies “Challenge Cups” in both cities set aside specifically for HKJC race horse owners and SRC owners to compete against one other. Rival clubs or sister clubs? Its hard to say as many of the most important  member such as Sir Ellis Kadoorie, Eric Cumine, Sir Paul Chater, The Jardines, The Toegs and The Sassoons were members of both – the later two names famous for their intense rivalry at the racecourse.

The Sassoon family known as “The Leviathan Stable” were notable for being multi-generation race horses owners at the SRC, starting with David Sassoon who owned and jockeyed horses in the late 1800′s. The racing reigns were taken over by his nephew Sir Victor Sassoon the Shanghai tycoon who carried on the family racing tradition in Shanghai from 1920′s with quite a flair.

Naturally having so many wealthy members the SRC built a bit of a reputation for the lavishness of its race days perfectly described as a “sort of three day wedding breakfast with the responsibilities”. Startling sums of the SRC money was spent on champagne and tiffin to the extent that one disgruntled member complained and demanded a vote amongst members on a motion to reduce his perceived over indulgence. Another member then pointed out that “the main pleasure of ladies coming to the race is to get something to eat” That was a cardinal point. The motion was defeated 100 votes to 4.

Aside from eccentric stories, one particularly unusual aspect of the SRC was that the club house, racecourse and many of the stables were in the center of the city, making it convenient for fanatical race horse owners to be obsessed all week with their race horses, while their counterparts in Europe had to patiently wait until their weekend jaunt to the county estate to indulge themselves. The wife of SRC member Raymond Toeg describes the concept quite elegantly; ” we would dance till 5 in the morning, and at 5.30 he was at the racecourse training his ponies. Somehow one managed to fit in running a business”

For those less familiar with Shanghai, the former SRC race course is now the Peoples Square (which is why Nanjing west road has an arc in it) and the original highly sumptuous Club house is now the Art Museum, with the fine K5 restaurant on the roof. When the club house was built the adjoining grand stand was rated as the largest in the world – testament to the significance of the SRC. The SRC as an organization closed down in the late 1940′s and was reformed in 2008.

These decadent Clubs in the far east essentially made the city based race horse owner a possibility well over a century before the invention of the internet which is now making it a possibility once again.

The SRC is now partnered with Highclere Racing in England to make European race horse ownership possible once again in Shanghai – albeit with racehorse based in England. Highclere Racing is owned and managed by Hon. Harry Herbert and takes its name from his family castle – which you may recognize as “Downtown Abbey” from the popular tv series filmed here.