Hong Kong racing has announced that it will give HK$1.4 billion (£143.5 m) in prize money for the 2020/21 season, setting a new sector record.
Total prize money for the eighty-eight meetings of the 2020/21 season at Sha Tin and Happy Valley is up about 4.9 percent on 2019/20 and comes at a time when Hong Kong is looking to ensure that Hong Kong’s elite races are attractive to overseas competitors.
President Chew Fook Aun, of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association 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, Hong Kong Jockey Club executive director of racing, 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.”