Ultimate Guide to the Stewards’ Cup

The Stewards' Cup is the first leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown, meaning that it is the equivalent of the 2,000 Guineas Stakes hosted in England. It is held annually in January of each year at Sha Tin Racecourse and offers a purse of HK$10 million (as of 2017).

The First Race of the
Hong Kong Triple Crown

The Stewards' Cup is held annually in January and is hosted at Hong Kong's Sha Tin Racecourse. This track itself is right-handed and consists of turf. The race has had a Hong Kong Group 1 status since 1991 and gained international Group 1 status in 2015. The current distance of the Stewards' Cup is 1600m (1 mile), and it is open to horses of both genders aged three and older.

The weight requirement for three-year-olds bred in the Northern Hemisphere is currently 109lbs (males) or 105lbs (females). The requirement for older horses is 126lbs or 122lbs respectively. Three-year-olds bred in the Southern Hemisphere are required to carry an additional 6 pounds.

fact file

location: Sha Tin Racecourse

grade: Grade 1

race type: Flat

The History of the Stewards' Cup

Inspired by the original English Triple Crown series, the races of the Hong Kong edition were initially open only to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies.

However, the organisers of the event have since made the decision to allow all horses over the age of three to enter the race making it the only Triple Crown Series in the world to grant a horse a second chance at glory. The Hong Kong Triple Crown series is completed by the Hong Kong Gold Cup and the Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup.

The race was inaugurated in 1954, but the Hong Kong Triple Crown wasn't introduced until the 1991-1992 season. Since then, it has been rising steadily in popularity and attracts spectators and contenders from all over the world. The race currently awards an impressive purse of HK$10 million (as of 2017).

Records

Since gaining a new HKG1 status and mile distance in 1991, top thoroughbreds have dominated the event. These are a few of the records (as of 2017).

  • Since the distance was changed from 1400m to 1600m in 1991, Good Ba Ba became the horse with the fastest time of 1m: 33.29secs in 2009.

  • The most successful trainer is currently John Size who won on five occasions from 2002 to 2013.

  • The most successful jockey is Basil Marcus who won five times from 1991 to 2000.

Best Moments

Nearly a century old, this event has served as a setting for some of the finest moments of horse-racing history in Hong Kong (as of 2017).

jockey racing horse
  • The biggest upset of the past few decades occurred in 1986 when British-trained Always Plentiful won by three-quarters of a length despite odds of 23/1.

  • 1991 was a memorable year as the Stewards' Cup was elevated to a prestigious mile event that would serve as the first leg of the new Hong Kong Triple Crown series. Mastermind was the first to win the event under its new designation.