World's richest race gets richer

The world's richest horse race has just got richer, with organisers announcing a US$16 million (S$22.5 million) purse for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational in Florida.

The inaugural race in January paid US$12 million, eclipsing the US$10 million on offer for the recent Dubai World Cup.

The Florida event, the brainchild of businessman Frank Stronach, is funded largely by a US$1 million entry fee paid by the connections of each of the 12 starting horses.

The Stronach Group will contribute the remaining US$4 million to the 2018 race, to be held on Jan 27.

"The 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational surpassed our expectations and we believe took the sport of thoroughbred racing to an exciting new level," said Belinda Stronach, president of the Stronach Group.

American colt Arrogate is the reigning champion of both races. He won the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach on Jan 28, before taking the Dubai World Cup on March 25.

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum recently told CNN he wanted the Dubai race to regain its status as the richest race. - REUTERS