WORLD horse racing’s year-end Group 1 extravaganza, the HK$83 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races, will take place at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday 13 December and the four features have attracted 209 exciting nominations from 11 countries/jurisdictions.

Of those entries, 152 are overseas-trained horses against 57 from Hong Kong, and with 77 international G1 winners among them - seven more than last year - including the world’s top-rated turf miler Able Friend, European star Flintshire and Australia’s latest speed sensation Chautauqua, this year’s HKIR is primed to live up to its billing as the Turf World Championships.

PRIZE-MONEY and incentive awards for the 2015/2016 Hong Kong racing season will be the most lucrative ever, rising by HK$76 million, representing a 7.5% increase on the 2014/2015 season.

A HK$54.4 million slice of that increase will be shared across all Class races, from Class 1 to Class 5. Hong Kongs Pattern race programme will also see significant prize money hikes and the successful High Achievement Bonus (HAB) scheme will be bolstered and extended.

The overall increase in prize money and incentive awards for next season upholds the Clubs objective to maintain and improve the quality of Hong Kong racing, said Mr William A. Nader, the Hong Kong Jockey Clubs Executive Director of Racing. We appreciate the increasing financial pressures that our loyal owners are experiencing when purchasing high-class horses and continued efforts to increase prize money over the past seasons demonstrates our ongoing commitment to strike the right balance.

Class 1 prize money will rise to HK$2.4 million (9.1% increase), Class 2 races will be worth HK$1.65 million (10%), Class 3 contests will be valued at HK$1.165 million (9.9%), Class 4 HK$800,000 (5.3%) and Class 5 HK$600,000 (4.3%).


2014/15 Value (HK$)

Increase     (HK$)

2015/16 Value (HK$)

% Increase

































Hong Kong already stages the richest 1200m (LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint), 1400m (Queens Silver Jubilee Cup), 1600m (LONGINES Hong Kong Mile) and 2000m (LONGINES Hong Kong Cup) turf races in the world, and, as such, there is no change to its incredibly strong international Group 1 purses. However, four local G1 contests will receive prize money boosts in 2015/2016.

The Classic series for four-year-olds, which concludes with the HK$18 million BMW Hong Kong Derby, will benefit from increases to its first two legs: the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Mile receives a HK$2 million boost to reach the HK$10 million threshold, while the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Cup will also be worth HK$10 million thanks to a HK$4 million increase. In total, the three-race series for locally-based four-year-old horses is now worth HK$38 million.

In the Hong Kong Speed Series, the HKG1 Centenary Sprint Cup and the HKG1 Chairmans Sprint Prize will both hold purses of HK$8 million next season, a rise of HK$1.4 million for each race. The Club has altered the race distance for the HKG1 Centenary Sprint Cup to a one-turn 1200m, after previously traversing the straight 1000m. The full 2015/2016 fixture list will be announced shortly.


2014/15 (HK$)

Increase (HK$)

2015/16 (HK$)

Hong Kong Classic Mile




Hong Kong Classic Cup




Centenary Sprint Cup




Chairman's Sprint Prize





There is also an increase to Hong Kongs international G2 and local HKG2 races with all rising in value by 3.2% to HK$4 million. This includes the three G2 Jockey Club races, staged in November and open to international entrants, which provide a natural progression into Decembers four G1 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races. All local HKG3 races will be worth HK$3 million in 2015/2016, a rise of 9.1% on last terms HK$2.75 million purses. The HKG3 Hong Kong Macau Trophys prize fund will rise by HK$600,000 to meet the HK$3 million level.



2014/15 (HK$)

Increase (HK$)

2015/16 (HK$)

International G2 & HK G2








Hong Kong Macau Trophy





Ahead of this past season we noted the need to maintain the high quality of horses imported to Hong Kong, along with the need to arrest the drop in the number of horses we had competing in Class 2 and above. After the HK$90 million increase in prize money for the 2014/2015 season, we have maintained and enhanced that strategy going into the 2015/2016 season with a further HK$76 million increase, said Nader.

As part of the Clubs strategy to incentivise owners to import high quality horses, the High Achievement Bonus (HAB) scheme was implemented for the 2014/2015 campaign. The HAB scheme paid out bonuses to 28 highly promising horses (through June).

After that fine start, the Club has decided to extend eligibility for the full HK$1 million bonus to any horse that gains a first win in Class 1 or above before reaching the age of five. A one-time only High Achievement Bonus of HK$750,000 will be awarded to the owner of any horse which wins a Class 2 race before reaching 5 years of age with a minimum rating of 80 at the time of the win. A horse which had already won a Class 2 HAB (HK$750,000) will receive a top-up bonus of HK$250,000 if the horse subsequently wins a Class 1 or above.

Further special bonuses during the upcoming season remain the same. These include the Triple Crown bonus of HK$10 million and the HK$5 million Hong Kong Speed Series bonus. The Happy Valley Million Challenge will also continue with a HK$1 million bonus, as will the ISG bonus of HK$600,000 for any Hong Kong International Sale graduate that gains the first win in Class 3 before the end of its first full season after the year of purchase.


AMBITIOUS Dragon, one of the greatest champions in the history of Hong Kong horse racing, has retired. The Hong Kong Jockey Club made the announcement today, Thursday, 16 April.

Twice crowned Hong Kongs Horse of the Year, the New Zealand-bred gelding was also named Champion Miler twice and was twice Champion Middle-Distance Horse, such was his talent and versatility. Ambitious Dragon ends his career with a record of 13 wins from 30 starts and prize-money earned in Hong Kong of HK$58,722,850, making him the sixth-highest earner in Hong Kong history.

SHAKESPEARE’S quote ‘my kingdom for a horse’ has never been more appropriate than for struggling Hong Kong trainers, and this rings true for Paul O'Sullivan who has tasted both success and defeat.

MICHAEL COX reports in the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST that for the New Zealander, Aerovelocity is ‘that’ horse, and the headstrong sprinter that won the Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo racecourse in Japan on Sunday, marked the culmination of a stunning 18-month turnaround and proved again what a difference one good horse can make to a stable's fortunes.

ZAC Purton confirmed his place as the leading jockey in Hong Kong with the best win of his career on local hope Dominant in Sunday's $HK15 million ($2m) Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.

TONY BOURKE reports for THE AGE that in a muddling run race, Purton had Dominant in the middle of a packed field before gaining a split at the top of the straight then dashing away with what proved to be a winning break.

To the roars of a very parochial crowd, the John Moore-trained six-year-old held off the late finishes of hot favourite The Fugue and the evergreen Dunaden.

ELITE runners from eight nations and regions, spread across four continents, are among the outstanding selections for the 2013 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races, which carries total prize money of HK$72 million. The Hong Kong Jockey Club announced the selected horses for its four flagship Group 1 events.

Moonlight Cloud heads an outstanding cast of 27 overseas raiders for the Sha Tin spectacular on Sunday, 8 December with Freddy Head’s brilliant French mare seeking to end a perfect year with a seventh top-flight win of her career in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.



DUAL Hong Kong Cup winner California Memory is in serious doubt for the Longines Hong Kong International Races on December 8 and trainer Tony Cruz has called on the Jockey Club to undertake an investigation into the hardness of the tracks.

ALAN AITKEN reports in the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST that Cruz reported his other international contenders Blazing Speed and Pure Champion also emerged from Sunday's meeting with health and fitness issues, but that California Memory, winner of the past two editions of Hong Kong's richest race, "was the worst of them".

THE possibility that Hong Kong's racehorses have been exposed to contaminated feed yesterday widened to cover more than half the population in training at Sha Tin after a second type of feed from California was found to contain the banned substance zilpaterol; a total of 17 horses have tested positive for it.

ALAN AIKEN reports in the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST that after four post-race positives for the cattle-feed supplement for trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai on Monday, his eight runners for yesterday's meeting failed precautionary screening and were withdrawn. Three horses from the stables of Paul O'Sullivan and Me Tsui Yu-sak were also withdrawn. The last of these, Double Glory from Tsui's stable, was withdrawn at the request of the trainer after a urine sample could not be obtained.

HIGH-FLYING jockey Matthew Chadwick, his girlfriend and a Hong Kong Jockey Club farrier were granted police bail early yesterday after being arrested in connection with two assault cases.

CLIFFORD LO reports for the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST that Chadwick, 22, was accused of assaulting the driver of a private bus and breaking the window in its door during an incident on On Chun Street, Ma On Shan, at about 6.15pm on Monday.

Zac Purton and Matthew Chadwick will join Douglas Whyte as Hong Kong's representatives in the 2012 LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship on Wednesday 5 December, when 12 top class jockeys from eight racing jurisdictions, including some of the world's most talented young riders, will come together at Happy Valley to battle for the title.

The list of this year’s ten invited jockeys for the LONGINES IJC was released on 15 November.  The last two places are traditionally filled by Hong Kong's current leading jockey (other than the reigning Hong Kong champion, Douglas Whyte, who is already included) and leading local jockey as at 22 November.

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