It's been a while since I posted my last blog here. I hope you've all been keeping well in these midsummer days.
I’m currently in France, along with Club’s Executive Director of Racing William Nader. Later today, we'll be heading for Deauville Racecourse, which is hosting a special Hong Kong Jockey Club raceday. This is part of reciprocal arrangement the Club has had with France Galop over the past two seasons, under which we, in turn, host "Le French May" race meeting at Happy Valley.
Once again this year, there will be two races named after our Club: the Prix du Jockey Club de Hong Kong, a handicap race, and the Group 3 event Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club. The latter race, run over 2000m, should be quite eye-catching as Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup winner Vision d’Etat will be making his first appearance since the Dubai World Cup in March. I will definitely be interested to see how he performs in this feature event.
France Galop has kindly invited us to attend tomorrow's Deauville race meeting, too. This should be another exciting afternoon as European supermare Goldikova will take part in the day's feature race - the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois. She will be seeking to create new history on the Deauville turf by capturing the 11th Group One victory of her career.
Although there has been no racing in Hong Kong over the past few weeks, my daily work does not seem to have lessened. On the contrary, it's been busier than ever recently, as my Club colleagues and I have been taking the opportunity of the summer break to review our performances and experiences over the past season and map out our direction of development for the coming term. It's our aim to provide our customers with more convenient and effective services than ever.
I can tell you that among the aspects we've touched on, quite some time has been spent on discussing the implementation of our further web enhancement programmes next season. Personally, I view the Club’s website as being one of the most important platforms for communicating with our different customers, as we have hundreds of thousands of people surfing the site every day.
As you might rightly expect, we will be launching several web enhancement features very soon. These include a new eWin login system featuring a dual authentication process, which offers more betting convenience and mobility to our account holders, as they can now use any Internet-connected computer to login, instead of being restricted to a designated computer with the P-Cert installed.
We will also look after the needs of other racing fans. Some of you may notice that we’ve already offered a preview, with a facelift of the pages on racecourse entertainment. These pages now sport a new design and layout, and some of the content has been regrouped. I hope that our racegoers, tourists and other customers can more easily locate the racecourse information they need from this visually-improved web section.
In fact, the first stage of our website revamp took place in May, primarily with the enhancement of the football section and the availability of multi-browser support for all web users. I’m pleased to hear from our online customers that they are generally satisfied with these enhancements. Some have been very helpful in giving us their feedback and suggestions on the changes; while there are others who have commented that it has become more difficult to scroll through the screens and search for the information and web pages they need.
Let me take this opportunity to clarify that actually the entry points of some key pages can be easily found in the top navigation bar, while other entry points have been assigned to a comprehensive directory at the bottom of the home page. We feel this provides a clearer structure and alignment of entry points on the main page, which will make easier for racing fans to locate the information they need in the long run.
I do understand that it will take people some time to adapt to the changes in layout and registration procedures. That’s why we introduced some of the changes and provided previews during off-season, to allow our customers more time to learn and get used to the new navigation. This is all part of our continuing efforts to upgrade and improve the Club's services, and provide you with enhanced online experiences. We will announce more details of these website enhancements and special features very soon, so please stay tuned to the site for further updates. Thank you again for your support, and I hope you will find the website more user-friendly in the long run.