Stake Doubled For Premier SA Champions Season Mile

Terrific boost for the 2021 SA Champions Season

A race ranked by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities earlier this year as South Africa’s leading Gr1 contest and alongside Australia’s richest weight-for-age contest, the prestigious W.S. Cox Plate, the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge will be run for the 50th time and for an increased stake of R1 million this season.

The premier SA Champions Season weight-for-age mile, the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge received the good news of the 100% stakes boost from R500 000 at a launch function held in beautiful weather conditions at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Monday morning.

Celebrating the great news at this morning’s announcement (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge now ranks as the joint second richest graded race on the South African racing calendar, surpassed only by the Vodacom Durban July,

In yet another significant show of support for the South African horse racing industry – and KwaZulu-Natal racing in particular, Hollywoodbets has committed to a 3-year sponsorship of the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge.

Over the past two years, Hollywoodbets has introduced initiatives to support each and every group of stakeholders in KZN and the timing for this new initiative is both exciting and gratifying.

The 2020 Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge winner Rainbow Bridge (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

“If one looks back to July 2019 when Hollywoodbets secured the landmark naming rights to Hollywoodbets Greyville and Hollywoodbets Scottsville, who could have predicted that we were about to embark on one of the most economically challenging periods that South African Horseracing has ever had to endure? Hollywoodbets increased its support of the industry during a time when it has been needed most and to now have our partner as a long-term title sponsor of one of our most prestigious Grade 1 races during Champions Season, is the perfect fit,” said Steve Marshall, Gold Circle’s Marketing and Events Executive.

Hollywoodbets Brand & Communications Executive, Devin Heffer explained that this sponsorship is about much more than just the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge.

“This is about being associated with equine excellence and ensuring that the value and prestige of our champions is not diluted by economic stress. Hollywoodbets views itself as an integral part of the horse racing industry and the KwaZulu-Natal economy. The SA Champions Season is the magnet that attracts nationwide interest in the sport, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to meaningfully demonstrate our commitment to racing’s wellbeing. We will also use the day to enthusiastically build a bridge between horse racing and our other valued partners in sport and in the media.”

Some big names celebrated the great news at this morning’s announcement (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

As pointed out by Devin Heffer, Hollywoodbets have extended the major raceday experience and exposure to a variety of title partners and this illustrious list includes the likes of local sporting heroes, the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the Cell C Sharks, LaLiga, The Lighthouse Foundation (Nomzamo Mbatha), AmaZulu Community Trust, Rising Sun, East Coast Radio and SuperSport.

Former international champion jockey and now Hollywood Syndicate Racing Manager, Anthony Delpech also attended the function.

Anthony won the Gold Challenge on two top horses in Secretary General and Set Afire, and told the Sporting Post that the race was a prestigious and important stepping stone into the July for many contenders.

Proud and thrilled – Hollywood Racing Manager Anthony Delpech

“It’s always a great race to win and the honour roll down the years underscores the importance of the contest on the racing calendar. This is a great day for KZN and SA racing in these times, and I’m so proud to be a part of the team that makes it happen,” said the former multiple champion rider.

Watch the clip below

The 2021 edition of the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge could see two past champions in Rainbow Bridge and Do It Again renewing their rivalry along with L’Ormarins Queens Plate winner, Jet Dark.

The increased stake of R1 million is likely to see a host of challengers to the throne, as this year’s race, scheduled for Saturday 12 June at Hollywoodbets Greyville, promises to be one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the SA Champions Season.

The Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge is also a Vodacom Durban July golden ticket race – guaranteeing the winner a place in the keenly contested final line-up on 3 July!

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