MAJOR PRIZE MONEY BOOST FOR SA RACING
The Thoroughbred Racing Board has announced a major prize money boost for the South Australian racing industry.
As of February 1st 2010, metropolitan Opens will rise to $50,000 and juveniles, fillies and mares’ Opens to $40,000. No metropolitan class race will run for less than $30,000.
There will also be some important increases at the elite level of racing from July 1st 2010 with Listed Races to increase from $70,000 to $85,000, Group 3 Races rising from $100,000 to $140,000, Group 2 Races increasing from $200,000 to $250,000 and Group 1 Races increasing from $300,000 to $400,000.
Midweek and Provincial races increase to $15,000 for Opens, with Country Open races rising to $10,000. Feature Cup days have also been recognised at both Provincial and Country race meetings, with Provincial Cups to be run for $40,000 and Country Cups increased to $15,000.
The base prize money level of racing will rise considerably with the frequently run maiden races at the provincial level rising 29% to $10,000. The maiden races in the country are scheduled to rise by 28% to $8,000.
A further 24% increase across the board over a 12 month period will apply as of February 1st 2010 the fourth
increase since the new Thoroughbred Racing SA Board took office 20 months ago.
Thoroughbred Racing Board SA Chairman Philip Bentley made the announcement at the 2009 Thoroughbred Industry Awards ceremony held on Sunday 23 August, at Allan Scott Park Morphettville.
“The South Australian racing industry is now financially fundamentally stronger when compared with recent years. It is now appropriate to translate this strength into higher prize money and provide the incentive for people to invest in our business,” Mr Bentley said.
“We are seeing consistently strong growth in our revenues, as a result of the betting operations contribution legislation passed by Parliament last year and the continued phasing out of the betting turnover tax,” he said.
“This has allowed us to fast track our prize money strategy, bringing forward planned increases by more than two years. The industry has come a long way in a comparatively short time to the point where we are now on a much more competitive footing.”
Mr Bentley also paid tribute to the South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC), which is contributing $900,000 toward prize money in the coming year.
Other further developments announced by Mr Bentley included:
Super Saturday, to be held on May 1st 2010 will increase in prestige as a result of all races being run for no less than $100,000. The day will be heavily promoted and assisted by a new $100,000 Provincial Series Final. The Provincial Clubs will conduct heats of the Series over an eight week period, with points awarded in each heat. The horses earning the most points will gain entry to the final on May 1st.
Thoroughbred Racing SA will shortly announce an increase in the owners and breeders scheme - which will encourage a growth in horse ownership and assist the local breeding industry.
The state’s North, the Eyre Peninsula, and the Limestone Coast regions will be especially assisted by the elevation of the Port Lincoln and Mount Gambier clubs to Provincial club status, with their prize money growing by more than 60%.
TWO CLUBS ELEVATED TO PROVINCIAL STATUS
The Mount Gambier and Port Lincoln racing clubs have both been elevated to Provincial status, thus providing increased levels of prize money in both regions.
Thoroughbred Racing SA Chief Executive Jim Watters said the move was further evidence of Thoroughbred Racing’s commitment to racing across the State.
“These two areas are vital to the future of racing in this State. Each of them has special challenges: the Eyre Peninsula and the North have isolation to contend with, while the South East has strong competition from Victorian Racing,” Mr Watters said.
“The Thoroughbred Racing Board strongly believes in driving growth across the whole of South Australia rather than just the metropolitan areas,” he said.
“This move will allow Mount Gambier and Port Lincoln to take another step toward a more profitable future for their clubs and for the many involved in the racing industry in their local communities.”