FWD Champions Day G1 prizemoney soars to HK$72 million for 2023/24

27/04/2023 15:27

Golden Sixty wins the FWD Champions Mile.
Golden Sixty wins the FWD Champions Mile.

Group 1 prize money for 2024 FWD Champions Day will rise HK$7 million with all three G1 feature races at the glamour meeting next season to increase by a minimum of 10%.
The G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) will receive a 12% boost to HK$28 million – up HK$3 million – while the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) and G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) will both offer HK$22 million in prize money, representing a 10% jump of HK$2 million.

FWD Champions Day G1 Distance
% Increase
QEII Cup 2000 $25M $25M $28M $3M 12.0%
Champions Mile 1600 $20M $20M $22M $2M 10.0%
Chairman’s Sprint Prize 1200 $20M $20M $22M $2M 10.0%

At $28 million the FWD QEII Cup is second only to the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup as the richest 2000M race over turf in the world.  The Chairman’s Sprint Prize ranks the world’s third-richest 1200M race on turf.

“We are well-established as a world leader but we are conscious that this requires continuous new investment, especially as international competition intensifies.  We are determined that Hong Kong’s international race days continue to be destinations of choice for owners, trainers and jockeys from all over the globe,” Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, said.

 “FWD Champions Day provides us with the perfect stage to showcase Hong Kong racing to the world while, at the same time, presenting a platform for international horses, trainers and jockeys to compete at the highest level against Hong Kong’s finest.  This further investment in prize money is an important element to achieving this”

Romantic Warrior lands the FWD QEII Cup in style.
Romantic Warrior lands the FWD QEII Cup in style.

All three FWD Champions Day Group 1 races were last year rated in the World’s Top 100 G1 races. With quality fields assembled for this Sunday’s (30 April) FWD Champions Day at Sha Tin, Managing Director of Greater China and Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer, FWD Mr Ken Lau said: “FWD is proud to be the major sponsor of FWD Champions Day since 2019. As the key supporter of one of the world’s premier race meetings, we congratulate the Hong Kong Jockey Club for its on-going commitment.

“As a fast-growing pan-Asian life insurer rooted in Hong Kong with more than 10 million customers across 10 markets, FWD is honoured to partner with the Hong Kong Jockey Club to bring world-class excitement and entertainment to local and international audiences, which perfectly aligns with our promise to ‘Celebrate living’.”

The enhanced FWD Champions Day purse bolsters already significant prize money and incentive structure announcements made by the Club in recent days.

Hong Kong’s domestic racing prize money will rise by 8% for the 2023/24 season, featuring increases across every class of competition – from Griffins to Class 1 and the Four-Year-Old Classic Series – with an additional HK$94 million on offer.

Class 2021/22 value (HK$) 2022/23 value (HK$) 2023/24 value (HK$) Increase (HK$) % Increase
1 3,150,000 3,465,000 3,720,000 255,000 7.4%
1600+ 3,150,000 3,800,000 4,075,000 275,000 7.2%
2 2,400,000 2,640,000 2,840,000 200,000 7.6%
1600+ 2,400,000 2,900,000 3,120,000 220,000 7.6%
3 1,570,000 1,725,000 1,860,000 135,000 7.8%
1600+ 1,570,000 1,900,000 2,050,000 150,000 7.9%
4 1,040,000 1,080,000 1,170,000 90,000 8.3%
5    780,000 810,000 875,000 65,000 8.0%
Griffins 850,000 880,000 950,000 70,000 8.0%

Including bonuses, Hong Kong’s total domestic prize money will swell to HK$1.38 billion, while every category of the jurisdiction’s racing surges to record prize money levels.

Adding to the Club’s decision to boost PP (Privately Purchased) Bonuses for both Class 2 and Class 3 horses from HK$1 million to HK$1.5 million for next season, prize money for Class 1 races at 1600m and further will be worth HK$4.075 million, a gain of 7.2%.

Class 2 races will be worth an extra HK$220,000 at 1600m and further with HK$3.12 million available per race, while Class 3 contests at 1600m and beyond rise by 7.9% to HK$2.05 million.

Class 4 races will be worth HK$1.17 million next season, an increase of 8.3%, while Class 5 races will carry an extra HK$65,000 in reaching HK$875,000 per race, an increase of 8.0%. Prize money for Griffins rises 8% to HK$950,000 a race.

The Four-Year-Old Classic Series will be worth HK$52 million with the BMW Hong Kong Derby offering HK$26million – up HK$2 million – while the Hong Kong Classic Mile and Hong Kong Classic Cup have both received HK$1 million upgrades to HK$13 million.

“Providing attractive incentives and increasing returns on investments for our Owners are central to the enhancements so far outlined for the 2023/24 season. Owners are the foundation of Hong Kong’s world-class racing and we believe that these increases will provide additional support commensurate with their investments,” Mr Andrew Harding, Executive Director, Racing, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, said.

Details of the final 2023/24 prize money structure, including the 2023 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races and other Group races, will be announced by the Club in coming days.

As a result of this substantial prize money boost for 2023/24, the Club has also approved an extension of the closing date for the 2023 Horse Ballot from 5pm Thursday, 27 April by two weeks to 5pm Thursday, 11 May.

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