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Hong Kong racing will offer record prize money of HK$1.46 billion (£136.2 million) for the 2021/22 season with the four G1 features on LONGINES Hong Kong International Raceday offering a combined new high of HK$100 million (£9.3 million).
By elevating the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup’s prize money to HK$30 million (£2.8 million), the Hong Kong Jockey Club will stage the world’s richest Group 1 races over 1200m, 1400m, 1600m and 2000m on turf.
The LONGINES Hong Kong Mile and the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint, which are already the most valuable Group 1 races over 1600m and 1200m on turf, will rise to HK$26 million (£2.4 million) and HK$24 million (£2.2 million) respectively.
The Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) is also the most endowed seven-furlong contest in the world on turf at HK$12 million (£1.1 million).
Hong Kong will also stage the world’s second most valuable 1200m Group 1 on turf in 2021/22, with the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, run on FWD Champions Day, worth HK$20 million (£1.9 million).
In addition, there will be generous increases across the whole prize money structure, with prize money for Group 2 races and Group 3 races boosted by HK$250,000 (£23,000) and HK$200,000 (£19,000) respectively. Races in Classes 1 to 5 will also see prize money increased by between 4% and 9%, 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 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup as the most lucrative Group 1 2000m event on turf in the world and consolidates its position as a principal target for the world’s best middle-distance horses.
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.”