The Board of Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) has announced significant increases in prize money for the 2013/14 season, with the total rising by $652,000 over that paid in the current year.
The increases will be applied at both Metropolitan and Provincial race meetings around South Australia.
In addition, TRSA has undertaken a review of Metropolitan race Classifications and Ratings, streamlining the number of individual race classifications from seven down to five with the State’s rating bands now more closely aligned with Victoria and the profile of South Australian-trained thoroughbreds.
The Metropolitan prize money increases will apply to standard Saturday races. The current 0-71 Ratings Band becomes 0-72 while the 0-75 events become 0-78 with prize money of $30,000 compared to $25,000 for the present 0-75 Rating races.
The current 68+ and 0-94 Rating races will be replaced with a Benchmark 90 event with prize money of $40,000 compared to $34,000 for the current 0-94 races. All other Metropolitan races presently with prize money of $34,000 will increase to $35,000.
“Rather than apply the latest increases to the top level races, TRSA believes it is more important to boost prize money at what are considered as the standard Metropolitan races, thus having the additional prize money potentially available to a wider range of participants,” said TRSA Chair Frances Nelson QC.
“TRSA’s review of the present classification and ratings for our Metropolitan races has been done to better reflect the profile of our current horse population to match races with the horses available within each rating band.
“Wagering revenue is a crucial component of the industry’s revenue and starter numbers are a vital aspect of that. While we are endeavouring to grow horse numbers, if each horse had even one more start per season that would make a significant difference to the industry and it is hoped the reviewed Classifications may assist in that regard.”
At each Provincial race meeting, prize money for all non Maiden races will increase by 10%, rising to $11,000. At the Balaklava and Murray Bridge Cup Days, all non Maiden races will be run for a minimum of $15,000 (a 50% increase) reflecting the standing of these days, where both Cups are Listed events with prize money of $80,000.
At all Public Holiday race meetings run at a Provincial venue, there will be a $20,000 race programmed.
“While the Board would naturally have liked to have been able to increase prize money for all races, or to have increased non Maidens further, the sheer volume of events makes such impossible with the funding we have available,” Ms Nelson said.
“There are more than 680 races run at Provincial race meetings, and therefore it would require $680,000 just to increase prize money for each by $1000. With there being 352 non Maiden races in a season, that alone required $352,000 to lift their prize money to $11,000.
“The TRSA board is delighted that with the announced prize money increases, we have now increased payments and funding to the industry by $1.732m across prize money and capital expenditure funding.”