HKJC announces higher purses and race-riding initiatives for 2012/13 racing season
06 Jul 2012 | The Hong Kong Jockey Club has announced that the upcoming 2012/13 season will see a total prize money increase of HK$40.29 million, with significant increases in the standard prize money for Class 1 to Class 5 races.
The increase follows a similar injection of funds for the 2011/12 campaign, when prize money rose by HK$40 million on the previous season, and affirms the Club’s proactive strategy in combating the negative effects of market forces.
Speaking at a press briefing today, the Club’s Executive Director of Racing William A Nader highlighted the Club’s ongoing commitment to maintaining attractive prize money levels in Hong Kong as a means of ensuring that it continues to offer a high-quality product.
“The Club has noted that Hong Kong owners are finding it increasingly difficult to secure the right quality horses at reasonable prices due to the twin issue of a continuing upward trend in the cost of good class horses globally and a weakening Hong Kong Dollar,” said Mr. Nader.
“Since the 2006/2007 season, when we began to experience an upswing in turnover, the Club has ensured that prize money levels have kept pace with the needs and demands of the industry. Today, with this latest purse increase, we can see percentage gains in relation to that starting point of between 20% and 40% across Class 1 to 5 races. These increases for the 2012/2013 season mark the second successive year that we have raised the season’s prize money pool by approximately HK$40 million.”
The prize money increases include:
Class Current Season New Season Increase
Class 1 $1,800,000 $2,000,000 $200,000
Class 2 $1,200,000 $1,400,000 $200,000
Class 3 $900,000 $950,000 $50,000
Class 4 $675,000 $700,000 $25,000
Class 5 $525,000 $540,000 $15,000
* Since the 2006/07 season, prize money for Class races has increased approximately 28 percent: Class 1 (25%), Class 2 (40%), Class 3 (26.6%), Class 4 (28.8%) and Class 5 (20%)
** Class 1 races with an upper limit of 105 will be categorized as Class 2 races in the new season.
The increases augment last week’s announcement that December’s Longines Hong Kong International races have received a notable prize money boost, with all four Group 1 contests now worth a combined total of HK$72 million.
The Club also revealed today that the Hong Kong International Sale Bonus will double in value to HK$2 million. Furthermore, the 2013 running of the Hong Kong Macau Trophy will be a HK$2 million race (from HK$2.4 million), but will benefit from a new initiative that offers a HK$500,000 bonus to any horse that can win both “interport races” (the reciprocal contest being the Macau Hong Kong Trophy).
In a move that will further enhance the already competitive nature of Hong Kong racing, the Club has announced changes to the distribution of race rides ahead of the 2012/13 season.
A 50% ceiling will come into effect with respect to the number of race rides a trainer is allowed to offer any individual Club Jockey or Freelance Jockey during the entirety of a racing season.
The Club has also revised downwards, from 50% to 40%, the maximum percentage of race rides that a Club Jockey can take for an individual trainer during the course of a season. Allied to this is the introduction of a 60% ceiling for the quantity of race rides that a Freelance Jockey can take for an individual trainer during an entire season.
In line with these changes, the Club has also decided to implement an upper limit of 250 Hong Kong race wins as the point at which a Freelance Jockey is no longer eligible to receive a weight allowance.
All changes take effect from the opening race meeting of the 2012/13 season on Saturday 8 September.