The Hong Kong Cup is the final leg of the World Series Racing Championship and is run each year in mid-December. The race is open to three year old and older thoroughbreds. The Hong Kong Cup is one of the world's richest 2000m horse races with a total purse of $18m HK (USD $2m).
The Hong Kong Cup was first run in 1988 over a distance of 1800m and was at that time known as the Hong Kong Invitation Cup. In the first race only horses trained in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore were permitted to enter. In 1989 horses trained in Australia and New Zealand were invited to take part, with horses trained in Europe being permitted from 1990. When the race was awarded International Group 3 status, the name was changed to the Hong Kong International Cup.
From 1991 onwards, horses from the US, Canada and Japan took part and the field now includes horses trained in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. When the race was upgraded to a Group 1 race in 1999, the name was changed from Hong Kong International Cup to Hong Kong Cup and the race distance was increased to 2000m. With the way the race has grown, the purse for the race is 12 times higher then when the race was first run 15 years ago.