Australia’s Racing Victoria (RV) has boosted prize money for the upcoming racing season due to a surge in betting over the last year.
Prize money is to be increased by more than AUS$16m for the season that starts on 1 August, with more than AUS$280m on offer in total for the first time. The figure – which equates to AUS$65,000 per race – is up by more than AUS$100m on the amount offered in 2015.
The 2021 Spring Racing Carnival will return more than AUS$100m in prize money and bonuses alone.
RV said the increase is achievable off the back of strong wagering on Victorian racing throughout the current financial year. The body said it hopes the additional money will drive continued investment in the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry which generates over AUS$3bn annually for the state economy and supports the equivalent of 25,000 full-time jobs.
Brian Kruger, Racing Victoria’s chair, said: “This additional investment is possible thanks to all within Victorian racing who have worked diligently to keep our sport safely going throughout the pandemic and it will most importantly help underpin 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs in our state.
“This increase is also a reward for the owners who have remained loyal to Victorian racing despite months of lockouts and restricted access that have been required to ensure that we could safely continue racing during an unprecedented period.
“In formulating our prizemoney structure our priority was to ensure that all levels of Victorian racing, from picnic meetings right up to Group 1 race days, benefitted from an uplift in wagering returns and I’m pleased that we have been able to achieve that.”
Four Group 1 races will now offer more than AUS$1m in prize money, with the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington up $250,000 to AUS$1.5m.
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