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Ascot Champions Series races worth record sums

15 Jan 2018

Prize money for six Champions Series races at Ascot this year have each been increased by £100,000

Big Orange Order of St George

Big Orange, left, pipped Order Of St George in a thrilling Gold Cup last summer. This year the race will be worth a record £500,000. Picture:

The QIPCO British Champions Series races at Ascot will be worth more than ever this year after the racecourse announced on Monday that prize money for its 25 race days this year – excluding the industry-owned QIPCO British Champions Day – will be a record £13,452,000.

At Royal Ascot, five Champions Series races which previously boasted prize money of £400,000 have been increased to £500,000. They are the King’s Stand Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Gold Cup, Commonwealth Cup and Coronation Stakes.

Overall, Royal Ascot will be worth more than £7 million for the first time at £7,305,000.

Meanwhile, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) in July, which is another Champions Series showpiece, is up £100,000 to £1,250,000.

It is the most the race will have been been run for. This year it could feature a clash between the brilliant John Gosden-trained stablemates Enable and Cracksman.

“Our total prize money this year is over £13 million for the first time, with Royal Ascot well over £7 million, which are important milestones,” Nick Smith, Director of Racing at Ascot, said.

“Royal Ascot prize money has increased 62 per cent since 2012 (£4.5 million), with the annual programme having increased 46 percent in that period (2012: £9.3 million).

“This has been important in terms of maintaining the international appeal of Royal Ascot and the King George and in terms of appropriately funding the rapid development of the racing programme in recent years, headlined by the inauguration of the Group One Commonwealth Cup in 2015 and the elevation of the Queen’s Vase to Group Two last year, both with excellent results.”

Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: “In order to continue to attract the best horses to run at Ascot, and with the Royal Meeting a shop window for international investment in British racing, it is important that we offer as competitive prize money as we can, particularly at the high end.”