13 May 2004 Pre-2014 Releases

Following the success of the initiative in its inaugural year in 2003, the British Horseracing Board (BHB) has continued its Summer Triple Crown in 2004, again offering a £1 million prize for any horse which achieves the feat.

However, following consultation over the winter with the media and other key industry parties, BHB has made the format of the series more flexible by allowing a horse to win any three of the four legs of the BHB Summer Triple Crown to capture the prize, rather than 2003’s requirement to win all of legs 1, 2 and 3. The Grand Slam, which was felt by trainers to put too much pressure on top-class horses, has been dropped.

The seven races which formed the BHB Summer Triple Crown and Grand Slam in 2003 constitute the 2004 BHB Summer Triple Crown:

First leg (win any one of the four races):
Vodafone Coronation Cup, Epsom Downs
Vodafone Oaks, Epsom Downs
Vodafone Derby, Epsom Downs
Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Royal Ascot

Second leg: Coral-Eclipse, Sandown Park

Third leg: King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Ascot

Fourth leg: Juddmonte International, York

The 2003 Summer Triple Crown received great support from trainers and from the four racecourses involved and BHB is delighted that those racecourses have once again committed to promoting it in 2004. Across the seven races in the series, the yearly average field size in each year from 1995 to 2002 never reached double figures, but in 2003 it was 13.1, with the Coral-Eclipse and King George seeing their biggest fields since 1975 and 1978 respectively. Attendance at each meeting was, on average, up 4% on 2002.

BHB will also again run its well-received Middle Distance Championship, taken last year by Falbrav. If no Summer Triple Crown winner emerges, the Middle Distance Championship will recognise the outstanding performer over the seven races. A prize of £100,000 will be awarded for the horse which collects the most points in the series.

As last year, in each of the seven races the first six horses home will be awarded points:

Position Points
First 10
Second 6
Third 4
Fourth 3
Fifth 2
Sixth 1

This Championship, which is a valuable prize in its own right, will ensure that interest and anticipation is maintained to the end of the competition and will also encourage participation in all the races in the series.

Peter Savill, Chairman of BHB, said: “The 2003 Summer Triple Crown initiative was a great success, achieving its objectives of encouraging British-trained horses to race in Britain rather than abroad and in assisting the development of a clearer narrative across the British Flat racing season. We hope that the £1m prize coupled with the improved format will encourage even more owners and trainers to target the BHB Summer Triple Crown and we are confident that it will further increase racegoing attendance and media coverage. The views of many people have been taken into account, just as we promised, and I am convinced that the BHB Summer Triple Crown series will go from strength to strength.”