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HK Joins Global Sprint Challenge
Next year's Global Sprint Challenge (begun this year as a joint promotion involving Australia's Racing Victoria, England's Ascot Racecourse & the Japan Racing Association) will expand to include the Hong Kong Jockey Club's premier sprint, the Gr1 Cathay Pacific HK Sprint (1000m). The partners yesterday also announced a US$1 million bonus for winning a Gr1 leg in 3 out of 4 participating nations next year (with the bonus, total prize-money for the series will surpass US$6 million next year). The 2006 Gr1 HK Sprint will be staged on the straight turf track at Sha Tin on Sunday December 10; it will be the 7th & final leg of the 2006 GSC (which starts in Australia in February). The other legs are: Gr1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 4; Gr1 Timbercorp Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on February 18; UK Gr2 King's Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot on June 20; Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on June 24; Japan's Gr3 Centaur Stakes (1200m) at Hanshin on September 10; & Gr1 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama on October 1.