Prize-money increase makes Hong Kong home to world's richest Group 1s
Hong Kong will stage the world's richest turf Group 1 races over 6f, 7f, 1m and 1m2f after announcing increased prize money for 2021-22.
It has boosted purses to reward home owners and to make its big races attractive to overseas competitors.
Hong Kong's programme next season will be worth a record total of HK$1.46 billion (£136.2 million) and the four feature events on Longines Hong Kong International raceday will offer a combined new high of HK$100m (£9.3m).
The Hong Kong Cup (HK$30m – £2.8m) is now the richest turf Group 1 over 1m2f. The Hong Kong Mile and Hong Kong Sprint (6f) already top their categories, as does the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (7f).
Prize money for Group 2 races has been increased by HK$250,000 (£23,000) and that for Group 3s by HK$200,000 (£19,000), while the value of contests in Classes 1 to 5 will also be up by between four per cent and nine per cent.
Explaining its keenness to upgrade race values, Hong Kong Jockey Club executive director Andrew Harding 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. 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."
Welcoming the news, Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association president Matthew Lam said: "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."
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