South Australia’s Goodwood Handicap has been given a boost in prize money to $500,000 from next year as part of the state’s new carnival set-up.
The carnival will now be condensed down to three feature weekends in late April and early May, however the Adelaide Cup will remain in its usual March timeslot for the time being.
The Group 1 Goodwood has been increased for $350,000 to the new $500,000 stakes and will take place on the last day of the new carnival.
Chief Executive of Thoroughbred Racing South Australia, Jim Watters, believes the changes will allow the SA racing carnival to attract further national attention.
“We identified this three-week window in the Australian racing calendar and have worked to bring together the majority of our biggest and best races into one exciting Carnival,” Mr Watters said.
“The eyes of the nation will be on South Australian racing for that period and we believe that will generate great interest, excitement and investment from all over Australia, with total prize money of $3.5M over the three days.”
The South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC) and Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) are both calling for the Adelaide Cup to be moved to the final day of the carnival.
Brenton Wilkinson, SAJC Chief Executive Officer, is hopeful that the Adelaide Cup will be moved from March to May.
“Obviously, our preference – and that of Thoroughbred Racing SA– would be to have the Adelaide Cup as the culmination of that Carnival, and we will continue to work towards that outcome,” Mr Wilkinson said.
“With the support of trainers both locally and interstate, we’re extremely confident the Autumn Carnival will be a huge success.”
TRSA has also announced that there will be an increase in prize money for all metropolitan Saturday races from August 1st this year.
Races that are currently worth $32,000 will go up to $34,000 under the new guidelines, and 68+ Rating races will increase from $32,000 to $40,000.
“Today’s increase follows significant growth in prize money with metropolitan stakes increasing by 50% across all categories, Group and Listed prize money increasing by 24% and all other classes up by 66% over the last three years,” Mr Watters said.
“Country, Provincial and Mid Week Metropolitan races have also seen a significant prize money increase since 2007 of 79%.”