Racing NSW Chairman Russell Balding announced on Wednesday that the funding included increasing the prize money for key Spring Group 1 races as well increases for country racing prize money that would come into effect in the new financial year.
The Epsom Handicap was the main Group 1 beneficiary of the recent funding announcement with prize money increasing from $500,000 to $1.5m which is likely to perk the interest in trainers across the globe. Maybe it’ll even bring runners back for another go.
Saturday Metropolitan racing has also received a significant boost with minimum Saturday racing prize money increased to $130,000 per race. TAB Highway handicaps were also increased to $100,000 as well as the introduction of a new race called the Midway.
The Midway is to have a $100,000 prize money and will be restricted to horses trained at the Provincials or smaller city stables.
Nearly half of the money will be poured into country racing including non TAB events. The increase in investment signals a significant rise in country racing investment with prize money moving up to a total of $91m nearly double what it was 10 years ago.
Minister for Racing Kevin Anderson said the huge prizemoney increases across the metropolitan, provincial and country racing sectors is “the shot in the arm the racing industry needs to continue to create jobs and create investment in NSW.’’
“The racing industry is a significant driver of the NSW economy, particularly through 2020 when racing continued when other industries were shut down,’’ he said.
“It is great to see continued increases in prizemoney, particularly to the country areas, the grassroots of racing, which will only broaden and strengthen racing in NSW.
“Everybody wants to race for good prizemoney, it attracts new people to the industry, improves the quality of horses in the regional areas where we have some of the best trainers and jockeys, and this will just lift the profile of country racing.’’
There were several other beneficiaries with Racing NSW announcing a new $1 million bonus for any horse that wins both the Craven Plate and Rosehill Gold Cup. Both of those 2000m races are now worth $750,000, up $250,000.
Balding also announced that the Villiers and Flight Stakes would receive boosts in prize money and that there would be two new $500,000 feature races run in the Spring but distances and locations yet to be determined.