The Macau Gold Cup is the last leg of the Macau Triple Crown. The preceding two classic races, the Macau Guineas and the Macau Derby, only entered the series in 2009. The Gold Cup is the only race that was also part of the inaugural 2008 season.
The Macau Gold Cup is run at Taipa Racecourse annually in late July. The course itself is right-handed and the event is run on a turf track. It extends 1800m in length and is open to horses aged three and older allowing competitors to win multiple times. A weight of 9-stones (126lbs) is required.
location: Taipa Racecourse
grade: Group 1 (Champions League)
race type: Flat
The Macau Triple Crown is unique for two reasons. Firstly, it's the youngest Triple Crown series in the world, having only been introduced in 2008. Secondly, it's open to four-year-old thoroughbreds, whereas all other Triple Crown races are restricted to thoroughbreds aged three.
Interestingly, the Macau Gold Cup offers a less valuable purse than the second leg of the series, which is the Macau Derby. While the Derby awards HK$2.6 million as a total prize fund, the Macau Gold Cup is worth a comparatively meagre HK$800,000. However, there's a bonus to be had in the Gold Cup. HK$1 million is added to the prize money won by the horse that wins all three races. Thus far, only one horse, Leun Yat Forever, has accomplished this feat (as of 2017).
In 2009, Sunshine Sure Win took the win in the Macau Guineas and the Macau Derby but failed to score again in the Macau Gold Cup. The runner received a consolation prize of HK$500,000 which was a great show of goodwill from the Macau Jockey Club who are still trying to improve their new classic series and increase its popularity.
Below are a few of the records since the event became part of the newly designated Macau Triple Crown series in 2009 (as of 2017).
The most successful horse of the past decade is Wonder Mossman who completed a trio of consecutive wins from 2014 to 2016.
The most successful trainers in recent history include K C Chong, who trained triple winner Wonder Mossman, and Alan Tam who won on four occasions.
The most successful jockey of the past decade is H Lam who won twice in 2014 and 2016.
As the third and final leg of the Macau Triple Crown series, the Gold Cup's finest moment is defined by the one and only winner of the series in its brief history (as of 2017).
The 2010 event is certainly the most memorable in the recent history of the race. Keun Yat Forever came into the event having already won the first two legs of the Macau Triple Crown series. He triumphantly completed the series and won the bonus cash offered by the Macau Jockey Club making him the richest winner in the history of all three races.