The Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup is the last and final leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown, which is the equivalent of the St. Leger Stakes of the original English series. The Hong Kong Triple Crown is the only Triple Crown series to allow contenders to compete more than once in a lifetime.
This Group 1 event is open to qualifying horses aged three and over. It is 2400 meters in length which amounts to a mile and four furlongs. Held at the right-handed, turf track ofSha Tin Racecourse, each horse must carry 9 stones which is the equivalent of 126 pounds or 57 kg.
location: Sha Tin Racecourse
grade: Grade 1
race type: Flat
The Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup takes place annually in May or early June after the Hong Kong Gold Cup in February. Currently, the purse stands at HK$10 million which equates to £923,000 as of 2017.
It's one of the oldest continuously run races in the country and was inaugurated in 1870 as the Champion Stakes. Then several years later, it was dubbed the Chater Cup in 1926. Finally, in 1955 it was given the name it's known by today and has been part of the Hong Kong Triple Crown since the series was introduced in 1992.
The distance wasn't static until 1995 when it was fixed at 2400 m. The race has long held a Hong Kong Group 1 status internally. In 2015, the Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup was awarded an international Group 1 status gaining world-wide prestige.
The records below reflect the accomplishments of talented competitors in the recent history of the race (as of 2017).
The most successful horse to win this event since 1986 is River Verdon who won four consecutive times from 1991 to 1994.
Since the distance was officially set to 2400 m in 1995, Viva Pataca (2007) set a record fastest time of 2m: 24.60sec.
John Moore is the most successful trainer in recent history with seven wins from 1995 to 2017. Allan is the next most successful with six wins from 1996 to 2002.
The most successful jockeys in recent history are Douglas Whyte and Basil Marcus with three wins apiece from 2002-2015 and 1992-1998 respectively.
This event is over a century old. In that time, it has been known by different names and runs at different distances. Below are a few of the best moments of the race as we know it today (as of 2017).
The 2014 event made for a thrilling upset as 25/1 shot Blazing Speed crossed the finish two and a half lengths ahead of the runner-up making him the longest-odds winner since 24/1 shot Gay Eighties in 1986.
Since this race became a part of the Hong Kong Triple Crown, equivalent to the St Leger Stakes, in 1992, only one horse has managed to win all three events including the Steward's Cup, Hong Kong Gold Cup and Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup. River Verdon completed the series in 1994 and remains the only horse to have done so to date.