Saturday, 24 March 2012
: The Breeders' Cup, in conjunction with the Australian Turf Club, has announced that Royal Randwick will have two Breeders' Cup Challenge races again this year.
Winners of the Darley T.J. Smith Stakes (G1) on April 14 and the BMW Doncaster Mile (G1) on April 21 will earn automatic starting berths into a corresponding race in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on November 2-3.
The T.J. Smith Stakes at six furlongs, won last year by the undefeated Black Caviar, is an automatic qualifier for the US$1million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at 6 ½ furlongs on turf for 3-year-olds and older. The Doncaster Mile is a “Win and You're In” for the US$2 million Breeders' Cup Mile on turf for 3-year-olds and older.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge series, now in its sixth year, consists of 72 stakes races, which will be held at many of the world's premier racetracks in the US, Canada, Argentina, France, Ireland Germany, England, Japan, South Africa, as well as in Australia.
There will be 20 races held outside of North America, 18 of which are Group 1 events. This year's series began in South Africa with the 4-year-old Gimmethegreenlight qualifying for the Breeders' Cup Mile by winning the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate (G1) at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town.
As part of the enhanced benefits program for Breeders' Cup Challenge winners introduced last year, the Breeders' Cup will again pay the entry fees of all Challenge winners into the Championships and provide a travel allowance of US$20,000 to the winning connections of each Challenge winner from outside of North America and a US$10,000 travel allowance for winners of Challenge races held in North America.
The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program by the Championships' pre-entry deadline of Oct. 22 to receive the rewards.
Breeders of Challenge winners will also benefit as the Breeders' Cup will pay a US$10,000 award to the nominator of each Challenge race winner.
“The Australian Turf Club is proud to once again be a part of The Breeders' Cup” said Australian Turf Club CEO Darren Pearce.
“This year's winners can enjoy a direct flight from Sydney to California, giving them every opportunity to challenge for the prestigious Breeder's Cup Sprint and Mile. This incentive may well entice our Champions to race on the World's biggest stage.”
In addition to the free entry fees and travel allowance for Challenge winners, Breeders' Cup is also offering a new early nomination deadline for the existing Horses of Racing Age.
The program is available anywhere in the world to owners of any previously non-nominated horses sired by a stallion nominated during the conception year.
This year, 2-year-olds by a nominated Breeders' Cup stallion can join the program for US$12,000; Northern Hemisphere 3-year-olds and older for US$50,000 and Southern Hemisphere 3-year-olds and older for US$25,000.
Following the July 15 deadline, the price for runners by nominated stallions increases to US$100,000 up until the time of October 22, the pre-entry deadline for the Breeders' Cup World Championships races.
In addition to the Australian races, the other Breeders' Cup Challenge races to be run outside of North America (with corresponding qualifying Breeders' Cup race in parenthesis) are:
South Africa – L'Omarins Queen's Plate (G1) (Mile) run on January 7 at Kenilworth Race course – Won by Gimmethegreenlight
Argentina – Clasico Belgrano (G2) (Marathon) on June 18 at Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo S.A;
England - King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Sponsored by Betfair (G1) on July 21 at Ascot; Coolmore
Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) (Turf Sprint) on Aug. 24 at York; Shadwell Fillies' Mile at Newmarket (G1) (Juvenile Fillies Turf); Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G1) (Juvenile Turf) at Newmarket on Sept. 29 and the Middle Park Stakes (G1) (Juvenile Sprint) at New Market on Oct. 13
Ireland – Stobart Pretty Polly Stakes (G1) (Filly & Mare Turf) on July 1 at The Curragh; Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes (G1) (Turf) at Leopardstown on Sept. 1; Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) (Juvenile Fillies Turf) on Sept. 9 at The Curragh and the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (G2) (Mile);
France - Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) (Turf) on June 24 from Saint-Cloud; Prix Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) on Aug. 12 at Deauville, and three races on Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe day from Longchamp on Oct. 7: Prix de la Foret (G1) (Mile); Qatar Petroleum Prix de L'Opera (Filly & Mare Turf) and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) (Juvenile Turf).
Japan - Takarazuka Kinen (G1) (Turf) from Hanshin Race Course on June 24.
Germany – Longines Grosser Preis Von Baden (G1) at Baden-Baden on Sept. 2.