The 2013 Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) features 10 prestigious Group 1 races spread across six premier racing jurisdictions and offers a US$1 million bonus.
First conducted in 2005, the GSC now takes in races across Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, with the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m) in 2012 the most recent addition to the roster.
The first leg of the challenge is the Black Caviar Lightning over 1000m at Flemington Racecourse, Australia. This is the first year that race has been named in honour of Australia’s great race mare, winner of five Global Sprint Challenge races prior to the 2013 series, including the 2011 and 2012 renewals of the Lightning.
After stop offs in Dubai, Japan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, the GSC has its finale in Hong Kong in December when the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint provides a thrilling climax to the annual series.
“The Global Sprint Challenge is a sensational showcase of 10 elite sprint races – the premier series of races for the world’s fastest horses,” said Mr William Nader, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director of Racing and a member of the Global Sprint Challenge Committee.
“With prize money of nearly US$2 million, the final leg, the LONGONES Hong Kong Sprint, not only serves as the series finale but also the international finale for the best sprinters of year 2013. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is delighted to be part of the Global Sprint Challenge and proud to play this important role.”
2013 is the second year that the current GSC bonus structure has been in place, a move which, it is envisaged, will make the prize more attainable. To claim the US$1 million on offer, a horse must win a GSC race in three separate countries, which can include the horse’s country of origin.
“The first horse to claim this prize will make history,” said Mr Nader. “Great sprinting names like Black Caviar, Rocket Man, Starspangledbanner, Sacred Kingdom, Scenic Blast and Laurel Guerreiro have come close in recent years, but no horse has achieved the incredible feat of claiming the Global Sprint Challenge bonus.”
Pre-2012, a horse had to register three GSC wins outside its own racing jurisdiction to be eligible for the prize.
The bonus will be split 75% to the owners and 25% to the trainer, with the US$1 million pool split equally if more than one horse achieves the feat in 2013.
Speaking at the time of the new bonus structure’s announcement in 2012, GSC Committee Chairman Leigh Jordon said: “We hope that the combination of an additional sixth host country within the Global Sprint Challenge, coupled with the changes announced to the bonus structure, will see owners and trainers actively target what is a very achievable bonus when planning the campaigns of their star sprinters.”
2013 Global Sprint Challenge Schedule
BLACK CAVIAR LIGHTNING (Group 1)
Saturday, 16 February, Flemington
TAKAMATSUNOMIYA KINEN (Group 1)
Sunday, 24 March, Chukyo
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN, SPONSORED BY GULF NEWS (GROUP 1)
Saturday, 30 March, Meydan
KRISFLYER INTERNATIONAL SPRINT (GROUP 1)
Sunday, 19 May, Kranji
KING’S STAND STAKES (GROUP 1)
Tuesday, 18 June, Royal Ascot
DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES (GROUP 1)
Saturday, 22 June, Royal Ascot
DARLEY JULY CUP (GROUP 1)
Saturday, 13 July, Newmarket
SPRINTERS STAKES (GROUP 1)
Sunday, 29 September, Nakayama
PATINACK FARM CLASSIC (GROUP 1)
Saturday, 9 November, Flemington
LONGINES HONG KONG SPRINT (GROUP 1)
Sunday, 8 December, Sha Tin