The British Horseracing Board (BHB) has unveiled the biggest bonus prize in world racing – £5million – to raise both the standard and the profile of horseracing during the summer months.
It is a bold initiative in an attempt to bolster the sport at the highest level at a time when there is fierce competition from around the world.
It is comprised of a “Summer Triple Crown” and “Grand Slam”. Any horse winning four races that make up the “Grand Slam” will collect a bonus of £5million.
Any winner of the Coronation Cup or Oaks or Derby at Epsom or the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, followed by the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and finally the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot will pick up the Triple Crown and a £1million bonus.
If the Triple Crown winner goes on to take the Juddmonte International at York in August to complete the Grand Slam, the prize will be a dazzling £5million.
BHB believes that races in mid-summer like the Eclipse, King George and Juddmonte International have not been as well supported as they should have been because there are so many alternative and richly endowed events around the world.
Top British horses are often rested at the height of the summer after competing in the Dubai World Cup and in valuable races in Singapore with a view to being prepared for an autumn campaign including France’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Breeders’ Cup In America.
BHB chairman Peter Savill said: “I believe passionately in the need to promote our top class races. This isthe first in a series of such initiative the BHB will be recommending, both on the flat and over jumps.”
Recent winners of the Triple Crown include Mill Reef, Brigadier Gerard, Mtoto and Nashwan. It is believed that more would have done so had there been a bigger incentive on offer.