Cue Card: won the first two ‘Triple Crown’ races last season
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
By Andrew Dietz 10:25AM 12 SEP 2016
JOCKEY CLUB RACECOURSES has announced the continuation of the £1 million Triple Crown bonus for any horse that wins the Betfair Chase, 32Red King George VI Chase and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup in the 2016-17 season.
Last season Cue Card came agonisingly close to netting the huge payout for connections when claiming the first two legs before falling three fences from home when disputing the lead in the Gold Cup, which was won by Don Cossack.
Kauto Star landed a similar bonus put up by Betfair in the 2006-07 season when he completed the same treble.
Paul Fisher, group managing director of JCR, said: “We’d love a special horse to capture the public’s imagination and take their place in racing folklore by winning the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown.
“It was fantastic to hear people label last season’s bonus contender, Cue Card, as ‘the people’s horse’ and we look forward to the challenge of going one better being considered for the finest staying chasers racing today. It would be tremendous for our sport.”
Cue Card back for another go
Joe Tizzard, assistant trainer of Cue Card, welcomed the opportunity to have another attempt at the bonus.
He said: “This is brilliant news. Having got so close to winning the Triple Crown bonus with Cue Card last season, that’s what he’ll be aiming at this time.”
Ten-time British champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls, who trained Kauto Star to win the three races, said: “Kauto Star winning the Betfair Chase, King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season really cemented his legend among the public. You’ve got to be a special horse but he showed it could be done and it’s great for jump racing that the Jockey Club is putting up this bonus challenge.”
Willie Mullins, Ireland’s 11-time champion jumps trainer, said: “This is a serious prize that deserves serious consideration this season. Well done to JCR for putting it up for us to have a go at. It’s also something that hopefully will spark the public interest too.”
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who has won the Gold Cup and Grand National, said: “Well done to JCR for bringing the bonus back for this season. It’s important for jump racing to have these big prizes to aim at and we saw all the interest Cue Card’s effort brought for the sport last year.”
BetVictor reacted to the news by going 33-1 the bonus is landed.
How the bonus works
The breakdown of the £1m bonus will mean 65 per cent of the pot goes to the winning owner, 15 per cent to the trainer, ten per cent to the jockey and ten per cent to stable staff.
If different jockeys ride the successful horse the fund will be split accordingly.
On the financing of the bonus, Fisher said: “It was pretty well understood last year that we insured the bonus and it’s important to stress we have done the same again for a modest sum out of the marketing budgets we use to promote the three Grade 1 contests involved.
“Jockey Club Racecourses has already committed to contribute the largest sum in the history of our sport to prize-money this year, £20.9 million. That is the affordable maximum thanks to us continuing to find ways to grow our business to support the sport. Whatever we make we put back into British racing.”