RacingNSW Chairman John Messara today announced the largest prize money increases in the history for NSW Racing as a result of the High Court’s decision to support the Race Fields Legislation.
The High Court ruled in favour of RacingNSW after a long drawn out battle by corporate bookmakers who challenged the validity of the legislation.
Racing New South Wales had been sitting on a nest egg of over $100m waiting for the ruling and announced today that it will be distributed over all aspects of the racing industry, from Country Racing to stablehands, track upgrades and infrastructure across the state.
“We are determined to see participants across all sectors of the industry benefit and receive a fair return for their labor or financial investment whether as an owner, trainer, jockey or strapper.”Messara said.
“The flow-on effect to service providers such as vets, float drivers, farriers and feed merchants will also be substantial.”
“Racing NSW fully appreciates the importance of Country Racing as an integral part of the economic and social fabric of rural communities. Rises in training costs over the last decade have made ownership in country regions non-viable and there was a need for a major upward adjustment to prizemoney. Importantly, country racing provides a platform on which much of the industry is built.”
As a result of this comprehensive victory, Racing NSW announced the following significant increases:-
- Country racing will receive a massive boost with a 50% increase in prizemoney with every TAB race meeting increasing from $10,000 to $15,000 per race;
- Metropolitan Saturday race meeting prizemoney increases by 21% from $70,000 to $85,000 per race;
- Metropolitan midweek race meeting prizemoney increases by 30% from $27,000 to $35,000 per race;
- Provincial race meeting prizemoney increases by between 42% and 46% from $16,000 per race (and $14,000 per Saturday race) to $22,000 per race;
- Country SKY2 race meeting prizemoney will increase by 60% to $8,000 per race;
- Country non-TAB race meeting prizemoney will increase by 71% to $6,000 per race;
- Licensed stablehands will receive 1.5% of total prizemoney;
- Prizemoney will be paid to tenth place.
The prizemoney increases commence on 1 July 2012. In addition to those prizemoney increases:-
- Racing NSW has utilised a significant amount of the fees collected to maintain the existing minimum prizemoney levels to date.
- A major portion of the remaining fees collected will be used to upgrade country racetracks, training facilities and infrastructure.
“While these prizemoney adjustments will place NSW in a most competitive position against all Western Racing jurisdictions, we will be aiming for further increases to prizemoney including the Group and Listed category, subject to success in other revenue generating initiatives which are currently underway,” Messara said.
Racing New South Wales CEO Peter V’landys said the new funding would be utilized to benefit as many people in the racing industry as possible.
“In a first for Australian racing, licensed stablehands will now get a cut of the prizemoney justly rewarding them for their efforts in the success of their stable,”V’Landys said.
V’Landys also announced that additional drug testing equipment for the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) would be acquire from the extra funding available.
“Racing NSW is proud of the fact that it has one of the most proficient integrity systems in sport and wagering. In order to maintain our pre-eminent position on integrity issues and to keep pace with world’s best practice, we have a number of initiatives in the making including investment in several new sophisticated drug testing instruments,” said Mr. V’landys.
V’Landys went on to say that the ARFL is already recognised as one of the world’s leading drug testing laboratories and the new equipment will enable the laboratory to detect thousands of drugs, including new-age prohibited substances such as ITTP in an effort to ensure that racing remains drug free.