York’s Juddmonte International Stakes has been afforded ‘Win and You’re In’ status for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The 10-furlong Group One feature on August 21 is set to be the only European race that guarantees the winner a spot in the Santa Anita showpiece in November.
The successful horse in the £1 million contest on the Knavesmire will receive a range of benefits ahead of any tilt at the $6 million prize in the United States, including the entry fee of $150,000 and $40,000 to assist with travel expenses.
Roaring Lion triumphed at York 12 months ago and went on to Churchill Downs for the Classic, while International runners Thunder Snow and Churchill have also taken in the Knavesmire and the Breeders’ Cup.
York chief executive William Derby said: “Our continuing partnership with Breeders’ Cup further demonstrates the global reach and appeal of the top races at York.
“The Juddmonte International was ranked in the top five races in the world in 2018 and the Breeders’ Cup Classic is the highest-rated race in North America.
“It is an honour to be selected by our friends at Breeders’ Cup as the first, and indeed only, European contest to offer the ‘Win and You’re In’ benefits to their feature race.
“Our aim is to attract the best horses and jockeys to York and I hope initiatives such as these continue to add to the appeal of racing at York.”
Speaking on behalf of the Breeders’ Cup, president and CEO Craig Fravel said: “As Group One stars from the Juddmonte International have been pointed to the Classic over the years, it is a natural decision to bolster that opportunity and reward horsemen with the Challenge Series’ incentives of a free berth, and no entry fees for the Juddmonte International winner to be entered into this year’s Classic.”