The Jockey Club has outlined plans to award £1m in prize money to horses which can win the three most prestigious Grade One staying chases in the new 2019-20 season, in a bid to increase engagement with racing in the UK.
The prize money, which will be the biggest bonus in jump racing, will be awarded to the owner, trainer, racing staff and jockey of any horse that wins the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November, the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton Park in December and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of The Festival next March.
The initiative was devised by Jockey Club Racecourses, which stages 85% of Grade 1 Jumps races in Britain and reinvests all of its profits back into the sport.
Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “We’re delighted to once again be offering this £1 million bonus to horses taking part in the three most prestigious Grade One staying chases in Jump racing.
“The fact that no other horse has achieved what the great Kauto Star did nearly 13 years ago shows you not only how special he was but also how competitive this division of Jump racing is. It would be fantastic to crown a new king of our sport and a great story for racing fans to share with a wider audience.”
In addition to the individual prize money on offer for winning the treble, winning connections will also land the £1 million insured bonus and The Kauto Star Trophy. The bonus is set to be covered by an insurance premium funded out of the marketing budgets to promote the three Chase Triple Crown events.
Kauto Star has been the only horse to manage ‘the treble’ back in March 2007, in what has been hailed as one of the best performances in racing. Kauto Star and 11-times Champion Jumps Trainer Paul Nicholls immediately announced he would be aiming to win the £1 million Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown.
He commented: “I still think in this generation Kauto Star is the best there’s been. He was a very special horse. When he won the Triple Crown I said it would be an extremely difficult thing for any horse to repeat and I stand by that.
“But it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are some great chasers out there and the new season promises to be very competitive again.”