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UK July Cup & Aust Age Classic Join 2008 Global Sprint Challenge

Tuesday, 25th September 2007

The UK Gr1 Darley July Cup (centrepiece of Newmarket's July Festival) & Australia's Gr1 The Age Classic (weight-for-age at Flemington in Melbourne in November) have been added to the Global Sprint Challenge in 2008, creating a new 8-race series. The Age Classic replaces the Australia Stakes (which is run in February) to create a 2nd opportunity for horses to travel to Australia after the European & Japanese legs have been run. The Gr1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes at Flemington in February remains the opening leg of the Series. The bonus structure for the series remains unchanged: a US$1 million bonus remains available to any horse that can win a Global Sprint Challenge Gr1 race in 3 different countries, as well as competing in a qualifying race in the 4th country. However the new structure (with the 2nd opportunity in Australia in November) allows horses to begin their bonus chase not just in Australia in February, but also at Royal Ascot & Newmarket in June & July. The organisers believe the changes "will encourage more European-trained horses to be actively campaigned within the Challenge". The 2008 series is:

  • Aust Sat 2 Feb: Gr1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (Flemington)
  • UK Tue 17 June: Gr2 King's Stand Stakes (Royal Ascot)
  • UK Sat 21 June: Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (Royal Ascot)
  • UK Fri 11 July: Gr1 Darley July Cup (Newmarket)
  • Japan Sun 14 Sep: Gr2 Centaur Stakes (Hanshin)
  • Japan Sun 5 Oct: Gr1 Sprinters Stakes (Nakayama)
  • Aust Sat 8 Nov: Gr1 The Age Classic (Flemington)
  • HK Sun 14 Dec: Gr1 HK Sprint (Sha Tin)
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