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$30 million prizemoney boost for NSW racing

3 minute read

Racing NSW has announced significant prizemoney increases, starting from September.

Peter V'Landys.
Peter V'Landys. Picture: Racing and Sports

A new $6 million sprint series bonus will be offered this spring as part of $30 million in prizemoney increases unveiled by Racing NSW

The state's governing body announced the changes on Wednesday, also revealing it will be spending $125 million on infrastructure projects over the next two years and increasing contributions to the Equine Welfare Fund. 

But the 'Sportsbet Sprint Series Bonus' will be the jewel in the crown as Racing NSW, led by CEO Peter V'Landys, bids to not only showcase Australia's best sprinters, including Royal Ascot conqueror Nature Strip, but to keep them in Sydney. 

"That's the aim," V'Landys said. 

"The Everest has made those horses well known throughout Australia and it's only fair they stay in NSW because we're the ones that have made them household names and we're the ones that have highlighted the sprint racing in Australia. 

"Now having the $6 million bonus….will encourage them to stay for the five-race series and in particular the Nature Strip (Winner's) Stakes on Golden Eagle day." 

The series is comprised of six races - the Concorde Stakes, The Shorts, Premiere Stakes, Sydney Stakes, The Everest and the Winner's Stakes - with points allocated to the horses finishing from first to fifth and double points offered in the final leg. 

To be eligible for the bonus, horses must compete in at least three of the nominated races with the bonus split between the five horses who finish with the most points, including $2.5 million to the winner. 

The $30 million prizemoney injection will come into effect from September 1 and will also include a significant increase to the Kosciuszko purse from $1.3 million to $2 million. 

Each of the races in the Sprint Series Bonus will also be worth more, including The Shorts and Premiere Stakes which both double to $1 million. 

Other significant announcements on Wednesday included: 

  • The introduction of a new $1 million race, The Five Diamonds Prelude (1500m) on Everest day as a lead-up to The Five Diamonds 
  • The $500,000 The Little Dance, a Melbourne Cup Day consolation race for horses balloted out of The Big Dance 
  • Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes both increased by $1 million to $4 million and $5 million respectively 
  • T J Smith Stakes rises to $3 million (from $2.5 million), while The Galaxy and Ranvet Stakes will be worth $1 million from next autumn 
  • Increased prizemoney for grassroots racing with country races to be worth a minimum of $27,000 while two races on each country program will be restricted to country-trained horses 
  • Provincial stakes levels remain the same, but each card will have a race for provincial-trained horses only and another restricted to horses from Midway stables 
  • Highway and Midway Handicaps to rise from $100,000 to $120,000. 

Racing NSW will also continue to reinvest in racetrack facilities and infrastructure with a focus on building more stables to meet demand, while contributions to the Equine Welfare Fund will rise from 1 to 1.5 per cent of total prizemoney, equating to $5.3 million annually. 

Russell Balding AO, Chairman of Racing NSW, said the prizemoney increases were designed to benefit the industry across the board and he was particularly excited about the boost to The Everest meeting. 

"Total prizemoney for Everest day will be a staggering $21.8 million, which obviously far exceeds any other race meeting in Australia and cements Everest day's place on the international stage of premier racing," Balding said. 

"We not only want to introduce and build new, innovative races, we want to ensure that our traditional carnival races offer prizemoney commensurate with their standing." 

Prizemoney in NSW has now more than tripled in the past decade from $119 million in 2012, to $358 million under the latest changes. 

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