Big prize-money increases for Hong Kong’s top races

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Hong Kong racing will offer record prize money of HK$1.4 billion for the 2020-21 season, with the Group Longines Hong Kong Sprint and BMW Hong Kong Derby featuring prominently among the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s upward adjustments.

The Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) will regain its position as the world’s most richly-endowed Group 1 turf sprint with a value this year of HK$22 million, an increase of HK$2 million. Five other Group 1 races – Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), Stewards’ Cup (1600m), Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) – will receive HK$2 million increases, taking their value to HK$12 million.

The historic BMW Hong Kong Derby is Hong Kong’s most important domestic contest and will be worth HK$24 million, a HK$4 million increase on the 2020 renewal. The 2000-metre contest is a key race each year, being a vital springboard for the next crop of Hong Kong’s stars, and regains its position as the second-richest Derby in the world, behind only Japan’s equivalent and ahead of the Kentucky Derby, the UAE Derby and the original Derby at Epsom.

The Hong Kong Derby is the final leg in the three-race Four-Year-Old Classic Series and the Club has also taken the decision to up prize money for first two legs: the Hong Kong Classic Mile and Hong Kong Classic Cup will both be worth HK$12 million in 2021, an increase of HK$2 million to each race.

Race 2019-20 (HK$) 2020-21  (HK$) Increase (HK$) % Increase
Hong Kong Sprint 20,000,000 22,000,000 2,000,000 10
Centenary Sprint Cup 10,000,000 12,000,000 2,000,000 20
Stewards’ Cup 10,000,000 12,000,000 2,000,000 20
Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup 10,000,000 12,000,000 2,000,000 20
Hong Kong Gold Cup 10,000,000 12,000,000 2,000,000 20
Champions & Chater Cup 10,000,000 12,000,000 2,000,000 20
Hong Kong Derby 20,000,000 24,000,000 4,000,000 20
Hong Kong Classic Mile 10,000,000 12,000,000 2,000,000 20
Hong Kong Classic Cup 10,000,000 12,000,000 2,000,000 20

All Group 2 and Group 3 races will also rise in value. Group 2 purses will increase by 5.9% from HK$4.25 million to HK$4.5 million, while the prize funds for Group 3 races will rise by 7.7% from HK$3.25 million to HK$3.5 million.

Total prize money for the 2020-21 season’s 88 meetings at Sha Tin and Happy Valley is up by approximately 4.9% on the 2019-20 season. This year’s lucrative purse increases span all handicap races from Class 1 down to Class 5.

Class 2019/20 (HK$) 2020/21 (HK$) Increase (HK$) % Increase
Group 2 4,250,000 4,500,000 250,000 5.9%
Group 3 3,250,000 3,500,000 250,000 7.7%
1 2,800,000 3,000,000 200,000 7.1%
2 2,100,000 2,200,000 100,000 4.8%
3 1,450,000 1,500,000 50,000 3.4%
4 967,000 1,000,000 33,000 3.4%
5 725,000 750,000 25,000 3.4%

Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association President Mr. Chew Fook Aun said: “At a time when prize money levels are being cut worldwide, the prize money increases announced by the Hong Kong Jockey Club are very welcome news, and a testament to the strength, resilience and buoyancy of Hong Kong racing, even in these very difficult times.”

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