The Australian Turf Club has announced that prizemoney will be boosted by $2 million across the major races during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
The biggest beneficiary of the prizemoney boost is the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) that will be held at Royal Randwick on October 3, which has had his prizemoney doubled and will be worth $1 million in 2015.
The Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) has dropped steadily in quality over the past decade, but the ATC has attempted to change that by now offering $750,000 in prizemoney for the staying feature – up $350,000 on the $400,000 that was on offer.
The Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) will now be worth $500,000 in prizemoney, while a number of Group 2 events have also received a prizemoney boost.
The ATC is desperate to see the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) be upgraded to a Group 1 to become the Sydney equivalent of the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) and it has received its second upgrade in as many years to now be worth $400,000 in prizemoney.
The Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) is Sydney’s leading sprint race in the spring and is now worth $300,000 as is the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) for three-years-olds, while the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) are now worth $250,000 and the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) has been increased to $175,000.
The ATC also announced a cut in training fees at its racecourses by 10 percent and Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce said that the Club was able to make the increased financial investment due to their strong performance in recent years.
“Prizemoney is just one area where we have been able to return more of our surplus to the industry, and we are delighted to further bolster our Spring program,” Pearce said.
“In partnership with Racing NSW, and with revenue from areas such as TV rights, we can now continue to invest further.
“The Star Epsom Handicap is again Australia’s premier Spring mile race and we hope it can attract The Star Doncaster winners and runners, and those heading to races such as the Cox Plate as in previous years with champions such as Super Impose, Filante and Racing To Win.
“This increase also reinforces Royal Randwick’s position as Australia’s greatest mile venue, in the Spring and in the Autumn during The Championships with The Star Doncaster Mile.
“The reduction in track fees represents the beginning of a commitment to use surpluses to reduce costs for owners and we are committed to doing more in the future as we focus on continual improvement.
“Importantly, the reduction in track fees spreads through to all owners and trainers in Sydney.”
On top of the prizemoney increases, the winners of The Metropolitan, Epsom Handicap, Flight Stakes, Premier Stakes and Roman Consul Stakes are now offered ballot-exempt entry into races like the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (200m), Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) during The Championships.