PRINCE ALBERT OF MONACO
Robert Garner: A R1-million race for maidens will add lots of spice to the Peermont Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile race meeting at Turffontein on Saturday 3 November.
The inaugural Monaco Million Maiden Sprint over 1160m is an amazing opportunity for the owners of any horse yet to win and who has run at least once.
The winner of the race banks half of the R1-million prize with R175,000 for second, R100,000 for third and progressively less for the next seven finishers. The 10th runner home gets R10,000.
Africa’s richest race for maidens is being sponsored by Prince Albert II, the reigning monarch of Monaco, and several businessmen in the principality, and is the brainchild of Mike Wittstock, whose daughter Charlene is married to the prince.
Wittstock and the Racing Association have worked together to put the race in place. It replaces the two R250,000 Maiden Plates, both sponsored by Princess Charlene, formerly run on Charity Mile day. Those races now form part of the programme for the Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes race meeting at Turffontein and were run for the first time on their new date this year.
At the request of the sponsors, the Monaco Million has unique entry conditions and aims to give as many owners of maidens as possible a crack at sharing in the big payday.
The field of 20 runners will be determined by a ballot and trainers may enter as many of their maiden runners as they wish. But each trainer is allowed only one runner so once a stable entry gets into the field, the trainer’s other entries are ineligible.
“It’s exciting, it’s different, it gives everybody a chance of winning and adds to the appeal of the day,” said Racing Association CEO Larry Weinstein, adding that Bob Yearham, Peermont Group Gaming & VIP Operations Executive, was delighted to have the new event included in the race day.
The nomination fee for the race is R1,725 and these monies will be donated to charity. The declaration fee is R9,200. Entries close at 11:00 on Monday 22 October and the lucky draw for a place in the field will be held on Wednesday 24 October. Female runners get a 2.5kg sex allowance.