The Hong Kong Gold Cup is the second leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown series, which is the equivalent of the English Epsom Derby and the original English Triple Crown series. The race is preceded by the Stewards' Cup and followed by the third and final race which is the Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup.
The Hong Kong Gold Cup gained a HKG1 status in 1992 and is currently an international Group 1 event as of 2015. It is open to horses of both genders aged three or older and has extended 2000m long since 1993. The event is held at Sha Tin Racecourse on a right-handed, turf track.
The weight requirement varies by age, gender and hemisphere. Three-year-olds must carry 110lbs (Northern Hemisphere) or 116lbs (Southern Hemisphere). Older horses must carry 126lbs. A four-pound allowance is granted to fillies and mares.
location: Sha Tin Racecourse
grade: Grade 1
race type: Flat
While the Hong Kong Triple Crown is modelled closely on the original English Triple Crown series, it does have one unique element. Instead of restricting participation to three-year-old thoroughbreds, the Hong Kong fixture allows older horses to compete making it possible for a thoroughbred to enter and win multiple times.
The Hong Kong Gold Cup offers a purse of HK$10 million. It has been a part of the Hong Kong Triple Crown since the series was introduced in the 1991-1992 season. However, the Gold Cup itself has been a fixture on the Hong Kong racing calendar since 1979 and is followed by the final race, Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup.
Since 1979, top thoroughbred talent has graced the turf of Sha Tin leaving a mark on the history of this event (as of 2017).
The most successful trainer in the history of the event is John Moore who won on 12 occasions from 2006 to 2017.
The title of most successful jockey is shared by Darren Beadman and Basil Marcus who each have three wins apiece.
River Verdon is the most successful horse with three consecutive wins from 1992 to 1994.
Since the race was lengthened to 2000m in 1993, the horse with the fastest time of 2m: 00.20sec is Industrialist (2000).
These are a few of the best moments in the brief history of the Hong Kong Gold Cup (as of 2017).
The inaugural running was won by Observatory, ridden by well-known talent Pat Eddery, in 1979 and remains a time-honoured event in the history of the race. Other notable winners of the early years include Co-Tack, Gay Eighties, and Silver Lining.
2001 is notable for being the greatest upset of the past decade. 50/1 shot Idol won the event by a length ahead of 20/1 shot Helene Vitality with the favourite, Fairy King Prawn, finishing sixth.