The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races are now worth an extraordinary HK$93 million (US$11.85 million). The 10 percent increase to the Turf World Championships' purse is among the Hong Kong Jockey Club's substantial prize money rises for the 2018/19 season, which were announced on Friday.
The upcoming season will deliver record prize money of HK$1.22 billion (US$155.44 million) across 88 race meetings, a rise of approximately five percent on the 2017/18 campaign. The increases span all classes of races, notably an eight percent increase for Group 3 events to HK$3.25 million (US$410,000) and a six percent rise in Group 2 races to HK$4.25 million (US$540,000).
Andrew Harding, Executive Director of Racing at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races rank as one of the world's greatest racing carnivals. The December flagship is also one of Hong Kong's most elite and globally-recognized major events. It is important that the prize money for these races is at the level consistent with their status at the pinnacle of the sport and their significance to Hong Kong's international status as a major events host. ”
With regard to the broader prize money increases, Harding said: “It is very important to the Club that we support Owners, who have consistently taken up the challenge of providing Hong Kong with the high-quality racehorses that are the backbone of our world-class racing. Maintaining high prize money recongises Owners' continuous efforts to purchase some of the best horses in the world, and that is vital for the ongoing strength of Hong Kong racing within a competitive global market.”
At the elite level, the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) has received a 12 percent increment on last year, taking its value to HK$28 million (US$3.57 million) and maintaining its status as one of the two richest races in the world at a mile and a quarter on turf.
The LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) are the most lucrative Group 1 races at their respective distances on turf. The former has received a boost to HK$25 million (US$3.19 million), while the latter has a new value of HK$20 million (US$2.55 million), an increase of 8.1 percent on last year. The LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) has seen its purse rise more than 11% to HK$20 million (US$2.55 million).
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