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British entrepreneur revives Shanghai Race Club . . . virtually

By Charley Lanyon

British entrepreneur Byron Constable is breaking all the rules to bring the sport of kings back to China.

While the mainland plays differently in many ways, it may still come as a surprise to learn that the venerable Shanghai Race Club (SRC), which he revived, operates without a clubhouse, without betting, without a racecourse and, believe it or not, without horses.

. . .Constable, who was in Hong Kong recently to give a talk at a Web Wednesday event, admits he was "at a bit of a loose end" about the venture: gambling is illegal in China and he lacked the funds to build a racecourse.

"It's like Louis Vuitton not being able to sell handbags," he says.

But another friend gave him an idea that would change everything.

"He said: 'Byron, you love technology and you love luxury. Couldn't you make it possible for someone to buy a racehorse through their phone?'"

That was how the SRC was reborn. Now, at his website through the SRC - you can buy a horse minutes before a race and watch it compete on your mobile phone.

And if you don't have millions to spend on a horse? Well, you can buy one for one race for only a few hundred US dollars.

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