Hong Kong racing will offer record prize money of HK$1.46 billion for the 2021/22 season with the four Group One features on Hong Kong International Raceday offering a combined new high of HK$100 million.
By elevating the Hong Kong Cup’s (Gr 1, 2000m) prize money to HK$30 million, the Hong Kong Jockey Club will stage the world’s richest Group One races over 1200 metres, 1400 metres, 1600 metres and 2000 metres on turf.
The Hong Kong Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) and the Hong Kong Sprint (Gr 1, 1200m), which are already the most valuable Group 1 races over 1600 metres and 1200 metres on turf, will rise to HK$26 million and HK$24 million respectively.
The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (Gr 1, 1400m) is also the most endowed seven-furlong contest in the world on turf at HK$12 million.
Hong Kong will also stage the world’s second most-valuable 1200 metre Group One on turf in 2021/22, with the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, run on FWD Champions Day, worth HK$20 million.
In addition, there will be generous increases across the whole prize money structure, with prize money for Group Two races and Group Three races boosted by HK$250,000 and HK$200,000 respectively. Races in Classes 1 to 5 will also see prize money increased by between 4 per cent and 9 per cent, demonstrating the Club’s commitment to fostering talent and incentivising strong owner investment at all levels.
The upward adjustments, announced today, Friday 16 July, re-establishes the Hong Kong Cup (up HK$2 million to HK$30 million) as the most lucrative Group One 2000 metre event on turf in the world and consolidates its position as a principal target for the world’s best middle-distance horses.
Prize money for Group Two races will increase from HK$4.5 million to HK$4.75 million, Group Three contests will rise from HK$3.5 million to HK$3.7 million, while Class 1 races will be boosted to HK$3.15 million.
Overall, prize money has been increased by 5.25 per cent in 2021/22 with some of the largest increments in Class 1 to Class 5 grades.
Recognising rising bloodstock prices globally, the Club is acutely aware of the challenge facing Hong Kong owners due to the very strong competition for high quality horses.
As such, prize money for Classes 1 to 5 will rise by between 4 percent and 9.1 per cent.
Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association President Mr. Matthew Lam said: “The Hong Kong Jockey Club has been doing great in keeping ‘racing goes on’ amid the COVID-19 challenges since last year when so many other sporting events were impacted. It is great to see the further increase of prize money in nearly all races, which offer good incentives to Hong Kong Owners to continue to import high class horses and support the world class racing standard in Hong Kong.”
Mr. Andrew Harding, Executive Director, Racing, at the Hong Kong Jockey Club said: “Key to Hong Kong’s world-class racing is the Club’s significant investment in prize money. Despite the issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty in world economies, we are committed to continuing our strategy of strong increases in purse levels to reward and encourage our owners and to ensure Hong Kong’s elite races are attractive to overseas competitors. This approach has been a core element in Hong Kong being able to maintain its position as a world leader in providing quality horseracing and has enabled us to achieve between 17 and 26 horses in the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for each of the past eight years.
“For next season, the Club has increased prize money to a record overall sum, including a significant injection across all Class 1 to Class 5 handicap races and Group 2 and Group 3 contests. We believe this will help to enhance competition and assist our owners in their attempts to purchase and import the best possible horses in a difficult economic climate.”
Mr. Harding noted the importance of Hong Kong’s elite races, especially the flagship Hong Kong International Raceday.
“The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races will offer a record total of HK$100 million across the four Group 1 races held on the day, which underlines the Club’s commitment to attracting and rewarding the world’s best,” he said.
“That commitment is evident in the prize money increases for the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup, Hong Kong Sprint and Hong Kong Mile.”