Hong Kong is likely to again attract many of the world’s best thoroughbred horses this coming season as the Hong Kong Jockey Club will offer a record HK$1.16 billion in prize money.
This amount will come across its 88 race meetings in the new season, scheduled to commence on Sunday, 3rd September at Sha Tin Racecourse, while also increasing purses for all three of Hong Kong’s spring Group 1 features.
Even though the Hong Kong Jockey Club holds a government-granted monopoly on horse races, football matches, and lotteries it only seems a matter of time before they will bring in an elite group of betting companies who have the technology that will keep the Hong Kongers growing appetite for various different types of Gambling, the most popular in Europe at the moment is betting through apps on your phone. The growth in iPhone apps has seen major European betting companies investing millions into betting app technology. Leading the way is the 32red sport app which lets customers bet on sports, horse racing and has various types of casinos that will no doubt go down well with the Hong Kong betting public.
As people will be able to see if independent betting companies came into Hong Kong the huge prize money that is already on offer will only grow.
The Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2,000m), Champions Mile (1,600m) and Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1,200m) are all in line for prize money boosts. The 2018 QEII Cup will carry a purse of HK$24 million, a rise of HK$4 million, while both the Champions Mile and Chairman’s Sprint Prize will receive HK$2 million increases to HK$18 million and HK$16 million, respectively.
Under current exchange rates, these increases make Hong Kong the home to the world’s two richest Group 1 races on turf at 2,000m, 1,600m and 1,200m. The Longines Hong Kong Cup, Mile and Sprint hold the top positions in each of those categories while the second richest at each distance would be the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Champions Mile and Chairman’s Sprint Prize, respectively.
The staying test of the Longines Hong Kong International Races, the Longines Hong Kong Vase, has seen its prize money bolstered by HK$1.5 million to HK$18 million. In total, the 2017 Hong Kong International Races, scheduled for 10th December at Sha Tin Racecourse, will offer a total of HK$84.5 million for the four year-ending Group 1 contests.