Increases for Longines Internationals in December amongst across-the-board stakes rises for the next
The Hong Kong Jockey Club has topped up the Longines International events in December to a total of $HK 93 million after prizemoney increases for next season were announced on Friday.
The Hong Kong Cup was worth $HK 25 million when Time Warp and Zac Purton (left) prevailed last December but the richest race on the Hong Kong calendar goes to $28 million (US $3.56) for 2018.
The lift was overdue, with the Cup unmoved from $25 million since the 2014-15 season.
Only the Vase amongst the other three December features had been given a recent raise but all four will be lifted from their 2017-18 levels.
On the other hand, the spring features - the QE II Cup, Champions Mile and Chairman's Sprint - will remain on the same prizemoney for the new racing season, with each having received significant recent lifts.
"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-recognised major events," said the Jockey Club's executive
director of racing, Andrew Harding (left). "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."
The increases headed a general prizemoney announcement for the season, with rises of 6 % for the Group Twos and 8 % for Group Threes and 4.5 % or more for the regular weekly races.
That gives Hong Kong owners and international visitors some $HK 1.22 billion in stakes to play for in 2018-19.
In the context of rising horse prices around the world, Harding said the increases were necessary so that local owners would continue to have the confidence to source talented gallopers for the Hong Kong scene.
“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," Harding said.