- Incentive for winning the three most prestigious Grade One races in the same season, which includes the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase, is the largest in Jump racing
- Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls announces Frodon and Clan Des Obeaux will both be bidding to win the Chase Triple Crown
- Illustration commissioned to celebrate Kauto Star, the only horse ever to have achieved the feat
The biggest bonus in Jump racing will again be offered to any horse which can win the three most prestigious Grade One staying chases in the new 2019-20 season, it was announced today.
Reacting to the news, 11-times Champion Jumps Trainer Paul Nicholls immediately announced he would be aiming to win the £1 million Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown with two of his stable stars.
Nicholls, who trained Kauto Star to become the only horse ever to have achieved the feat – in the 2006-7 season – said: “Frodon and Clan Des Obeaux are two horses that at, this stage, I have earmarked for the Betfair Chase. Both are real contenders and if either managed to land the first leg then it’s game on.”
As well as the individual prize money on offer for winning the Betfair Chase, the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, winning connections will also land the £1 million bonus and The Kauto Star Trophy, commissioned in 2017 and thought to be the only piece of silverware in sport never to have been won.
In further recognition of the historic achievement, The Jockey Club has also commissioned an illustration celebrating the majesty of Kauto Star, along with trainer Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh, who retired from the sport earlier this year.
Artist Phil Galloway depicts Kauto Star as having been crowned the King of Jump Racing, while highlighting the roles Nicholls and Walsh played in the fierce battles he fought and won on the racetrack. Owner Clive Smith is also recognised in a stone carving on the plinth which Kauto Star stands upon.
Nicholls still recalls vividly the moment Kauto Star completed the historic treble in March 2007 at Cheltenham and hails it as one of the best performances he has ever seen in nearly 40 years in racing.
He said: “I still think in this generation Kauto Star is the best there’s been. He was a very special horse. When he won the Triple Crown I said it would be an extremely difficult thing for any horse to repeat and I stand by that. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are some great chasers out there and the new season promises to be very competitive again.”
If any horse can repeat the incredible achievement of Kauto Star the Chase Triple Crown bonus is split between connections, with 65% going to the owner(s), 15% to the trainer, 10% to racing staff at the winning yard and 10% to the jockey.
The initiative was devised by Jockey Club Racecourses, which stages 85% of Grade 1 Jumps races in Britain and reinvests all of its profits back into the sport. It rewards a horse winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November, the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day in December and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of The Festival™ presented by Magners next March.
The £1 million bonus is once again being covered by an insurance premium funded out of the marketing budgets to promote the three Chase Triple Crown events.
A chaser has won two of the three legs in six of the last 11 seasons. Four of those saw Cue Card in 2015/16, Silviniaco Conti in 2014/15 and Kauto Star in both 2009/10 and 2011/12 win the first two races of the challenge before failing to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Twice in that period the last two legs have been won by Long Run in 2010/11 and Kauto Star in 2008/9 in seasons where they did not win the Betfair Chase.
Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:
“We’re delighted to once again be offering this £1 million bonus to horses taking part in the three most prestigious Grade One staying chases in Jump racing. The fact that no other horse has achieved what the great Kauto Star did nearly 13 years ago shows you not only how special he was but also how competitive this division of Jump racing is. It would be fantastic to crown a new king of our sport and a great story for racing fans to share with a wider audience.”
Watch the second stage of the Chase Triple Crown at Kempton Park on King George VI Chase Day.