Phumelela and the Racing Association have doubled the prize money of the President’s Champions Challenge to R4 million, making it the richest race on the continent.
Simultaneously, they have upped the stake of the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile by R400,000 to R1 million.
The Champions Challenge, a Grade 1 race over 2000m, is run on Champions Day at Turffontein on the last Saturday in April annually.
The Charity Mile, a Grade 2 race over 1600m at Turffontein, will be run in October this year.
Racing Association chief executive Larry Wainstein said yesterday: “The Champions Challenge is a true-run race where the conditions favour the best horse. So it deserves a big stake.
“It used to be the richest race in South Africa and now it has that status again. We’re hoping the big stake will attract the top horses from all over the country.”
Even though the Charity Mile is not a Grade 1 race, Wainstein said, it generally attracts a high-quality field and the raceday itself has become iconic among racegoers. “We felt it was time.”
The race is linked to charity with each of the 16 runners racing on a behalf of a charity. The finishing positions of the horses determine the amount each charity wins.
Each runner is publicly represented by a celebrity and the charities take home R500,000 in total.