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Win-win situation

The 2400-metre Champions & Chater Cup, now the final leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown, saw an astonishing dead heat finish in 1995

The Champions & Chater Cup – now the closing leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown and the final G1 event on the city’s racing calendar – has a long history that dates back to 1870, when it was known as the Champion Stakes. In 1926, it was renamed the Chater Cup as a tribute to former HKJC Chairman Sir Catchick Paul Chater, then eventually retitled the Champions & Chater Cup in 1955. Since 1995, it has been run on turf over 2,400 metres – a distance contested only three times per season in Hong Kong – and was granted international G1 status in 2015.

The Champions & Chater Cup has seen many dramatic finishes over the years, but none more memorable than the first major race dead heat in the city’s history, on 13 May 1995. Caught in that race were Makarpura Star (有性格) and Survey King (開心人), ridden by Tony Cruz and Greg Childs respectively. After the neck-and-neck race, some 43,000 racing fans speculated about the final result for more than 15 minutes as the judge scrutinised the photo-finish print and declared the race a dead heat. The John Mooretrained pair were four-and-a-half lengths clear of Privilege (百勝威), who secured a third-place finish despite Deerfield’s (綠野神駒) determined late challenge.

In recent years, Hong Kong has witnessed more dramatic dead heats, such as when Singapore’s Rocket Man (火箭人) and John Moore’s charge One World (同一世界) went head-to-head in the 2010 G2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m).

Look forward to more nail-biting moments as the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup returns to Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, 23 May.