The Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup was first run at Sha Tin in January, 1979, with the inaugural version won by the Allan Chan-trained Observatory, under a fine ride by the legendary jockey Pat Eddery. This premier contest was granted HKG1 status in 1991/92. The distance changed to 2000m in the 1992/93 season when it became the second leg of the newly-established Hong Kong Triple Crown, between the Stewards’ Cup (1600m) and Champions & Chater Cup (2400m).
River Verdon rattled off a hat-trick of Gold Cup wins between 1992 and 1994, a feat unmatched by any horse to date. His 1993 triumph was the middle leg of a famous Triple Crown triumph, the first and only in Hong Kong racing history.
A host of Hong Kong racing’s equine greats have carried off this race and the contest became an international Group 1 race, worth HK$10 million, in the 2014/15 season. The race’s prize money is further increased to HK$12 million in 2021. Apart from River Verdon, the victory roll features standouts such as Indigenous, Bullish Luck, Vengeance Of Rain, Viva Pataca, Ambitious Dragon, Military Attack, Designs On Rome, Werther, Exultant and Golden Sixty. Time Warp became the first horse to finish the Sha Tin 2000m in under two minutes in the 2018 renewal and he notched a second win in this race last year, bringing his trainer Tony Cruz a ninth Gold Cup victory (twice as a jockey and seventh as a trainer).
The 2022 renewal will be the 15th running under the Citi Group banner, the race sponsor since 2008. It was ranked equal 31st in the IFHA’s World’s Top 100 G1 Races in 2021.
- February 7 – Entries close
- February 17 – Declarations to run