Hong Kong will stage its 2018/19 season opener at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, 2 September, the first of 88 fixtures worth a record total of HK$1.22 billion.
The season will consist of 47 day meetings and 41 night fixtures at Hong Kong’s two iconic tracks, Happy Valley and Sha Tin. The season finale is scheduled for Sunday, 14 July, 2019.
Dates to note include the Hong Kong International Races, with its four famous Group 1 contests worth a combined HK$93 million in stakes, on Sunday, 9 December, and Champions Day on Sunday, 28 April. The latter will again feature the G1 QEII Cup (2000m), G1 Champions Mile (1600m) and G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m), with the three championship races worth a total of HK$58 million in prize money.
The International Jockeys Championship will light up Happy Valley on Wednesday, 5 December.
Hong Kong’s most coveted domestic prize, the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m), will be run at Sha Tin on Sunday, 17 March.
A change to the calendar will move the first leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown, the G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m), and the first leg of the Hong Kong Speed Series, the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), to 20 January, with the Four-Year-Old Classic Series opener, the Hong Kong Classic Mile, shifting to a spot one week later on 27 January.
That gives a three-week lead-up to the second leg, the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), which will be part of an exciting top-class programme on Sunday, 17 February along with the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), both of which will be run one week earlier than last term.
This season’s Chinese New Year Meeting will be on Thursday, 7 February.
Hong Kong will stage 12 Group 1 races, with all of the jurisdiction’s lucrative Pattern races open to international competition.