Gold Circle has announced that the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) is the new title sponsor of the Gold Cup race meeting. “Over the past two years, this race meeting has been classified as a World Pool Event which has generated significant revenue for Gold Circle and this has coincided with HKJC World Pool becoming the sponsors of the Grade 1 Champions Cup. We can now confirm HKJC as the title sponsors of the day and we are excited to launch the first HKJC World Pool-sponsored race day worldwide” said Michel Nairac, CEO of Gold Circle.
The Gold Cup race meeting represents one of the highest-quality race days in South Africa. The 10-feature race card (the last 9 races being part of World Pool) boasts the premier race for stayers as the title event along with four Grade 1 races, three Grade 2 races, and two listed races. Added to this, the racemeeting falls on the last weekend of the South African racing calendar, and with R6 million in stakes on offer it is often a significant opportunity for Horses, Trainers and Owners to secure their respective status as EQUUS Champions of the year.
This year the Gold Cup will be run on Sunday 30th July and will be part of a doubleheader World Pool weekend, with racing from Ascot on Saturday.
“There has always been a strong connection between the Hong Kong and South African racing industries, particularly when it comes to participants, so it is exciting to collaborate with them. Gold Circle have been wonderful supporters of World Pool and they recognise the benefits of having a robust pari-mutuel offering. And Hong Kong customers are quite fond of the product as well. In fact, the 2022 Gold Cup meeting produced record turnover in Hong Kong for a simulcast meeting of HKD 394.7M,” said Michael Fitzsimons, Executive Director, Wagering Products of the HKJC.
The stakes on HKJC World Pool Gold Cup Day have been increased by more than 25% and features the R1m World Pool Gold Cup and the R1,25m HKJC Champions Cup. Former South African Jockey, Douglas Whyte, who went on to secure 13 consecutive Hong Kong Jockey Titles and is now a successful trainer, will be recognised by having the Grade 1 Douglas Whyte Stakes (formerly the Thekwini Stakes) named in his honour.
Dougie Whyte – a Gr1 race now named in his honour (Pic – HKJC)
Douglas Whyte said “I feel privileged to have this race named in my honour and want to thank Gold Circle and the Hong Kong Jockey Club for the recognition. It is a great race meeting and Durban has always held a special place in my heart. World Pool has been a great initiative and a much-needed boost for the South African industry.
The race program is listed below:
- R1: Tabgold Darley Arabian (Listed)
- R2: World Pool with Gold Circle Stakes (Gr2) formerly Debutante Stakes
- R3: @WorldPool Twitter Stakes (Gr2) formerly Umkhomazi Stakes
- R4: Douglas Whyte Stakes (Gr1) formerly Thekwini Stakes
- R5: World Pool Moment of the Day Champion Stakes (Gr1) formerly Premiers Champion Stakes
- R6: Mercury Sprint (Gr1)
- R7: World Pool Gold Cup (Gr3)
- R8: The HKJC Champions Cup (Gr1)
- R9: Riding High Together Gold Bracelet (Gr2)
- R10: HKIR in December Handicap (Listed) formerly Umgeni Handicap