Hong Kong racing will offer record prizemoney of HK$1.3 billion (NZ$246.5 million) for the 2019/20 season. Lucrative increases to FWD Champions Day’s three Group One races and the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) feature among the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s upward adjustments revealed today, Tuesday, 9 July.
The FWD Champions Day fixture has proven to be a huge success in two editions so far. In keeping with its world class status, the Gr.1 FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m) has received a HK$1 million boost and will be worth HK$25 million (NZ$4.74 million) in 2020; the Gr.1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) is up HK$2 million to HK$20 million (NZ$3.79 million); and the Gr.1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) is worth HK$18 million (NZ$3.41 million), an increase of HK$2 million.
The historic BMW Hong Kong Derby is Hong Kong’s most important domestic contest and will be worth HK$20 million (NZ$ 3.79 million, a HK$2 million increase on the 2019 renewal.
Total prizemoney for the 2019/20 season’s 88 meetings at Sha Tin and Happy Valley is up by 6.5 percent on the 2018/19 season. The purse increases span all handicap races from Class 1 down to Class 5.
“Our owners invest heavily to bring high-quality horses to Hong Kong, which underpins our world-class racing,” said Andrew Harding, Executive Director, Racing, at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“It is important that they are rewarded for their investments and this is reflected in the rises across our five classes of handicap races and the Derby. The BMW Hong Kong Derby is the race every Hong Kong owner wants to win.
They scour the world looking to buy the right horse, their costs are rising in a competitive bloodstock market and it is vital that we offer generous incentives. Our purse increases, including the Derby’s new HK$20 million prize fund, are calibrated to recognise this.”
New Zealand-bred gallopers have enjoyed another fine season in Hong Kong, winning more black-type races (13) than any other nation. New Zealand-bred horses have won 25.8 percent of races in Hong Kong this season from a supply of 23.5 percent of runners.
Additionally, six of the past 10 Hong Kong Derby winners are New Zealand-bred, including this year’s winner Furore.