Hong Kong racing bucks trend by upping prize money

Hong Kong racing has revealed that for the 2020/21 season, it will be offering HK$1.4 billion (£143.5m) in prize money, marking a new record for the sector.

Total prize money for the 2020/21 season’s 88 meetings at Sha Tin and Happy Valley is up by approximately 4.9% on 2019/20, and comes at a time when Hong Kong is looking ‘to ensure Hong Kong’s elite races are attractive to overseas competitors’.

Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association President Chew Fook Aun said: “At a time when prize money levels are being cut worldwide, the prize money increases announced today by the Hong Kong Jockey Club are very welcome news, and a testament to the strength, resilience and buoyancy of Hong Kong racing, even in these very difficult times.”

Andrew Harding, Executive Director of Racing at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, added: “Despite the issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty in world economies, we will continue our successful strategy of recent years to increase purse levels as necessary in order 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 20 and 26 horses in the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for each of the past seven years.

“For next season, the Club has increased prize money to a record overall sum, including a significant injection across all Class 1 to Class 5 handicap races and Group 2 and Group 3 contests. 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.”

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