British horseracing receives prize money jump

British horseracing receives prize money jump

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 Posted by Craig Davies
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Announcements made by The Jockey Club and British Horseracing Authority

British horseracing is set to be boosted by an increase of prize money in 2018, thanks to a duo of announcements from The Jockey Club and British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

The BHA has announced an increase in prize money from the levy and racecourses, ‘primarily targeting participants operating at mid and lower tiers of the sport.’

In addition a rise in total prize money forecast has also been revealed, with the £160m figure ‘an all-time high in terms of returns to owners and competitors.’

This follows news of record prize money increases from The Jockey Club, with contributions of £4.2m announced.

Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR) are also set to commit £27.1m to prize money from its own resources, at all levels of the sport and subject to abandonments, while total race values across its 15 racecourses are also set to exceed £53m, an £8m rise year on year.

The Jockey Club’s 348 strong racing fixture list for 2018 is also set for record race values, with an average of £153,000 per fixture revealed, representing a 15% rise from £133,000 in 2017.

Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, told “Horseracing is a sport very much on the up and up. It is second only to football in Britain in terms of spectator numbers and millions of people enjoy race days at The Jockey Club's 15 racecourses every year.

“In addition ITV will have shown 94 days of racing in total in 2017, with more than 40 of those being shown on its flagship ITV1 channel. That’s more than any other sport.

“Increasing prize money demonstrates our commitment to offering those who provide the entertainment - the owners, trainers, stable staff and jockeys - better financial rewards in return for running their horses in races across all levels of the sport.

“We hope this will, in turn, further improve the quality of racing on offer, making our sport even more competitive for racegoers and the betting public alike.

“While the public's focus can often be on world famous events staged by The Jockey Club like the Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby, we strive to ensure the sport is supported financially at all levels. We will stage 348 fixtures at our racecourses next year and the 2018 increase in prize money is distributed to reflect that.

“Grassroots racing is more important to our sport than ever before, which is why we have increased prize money in that area by a third. We see grassroots racing as vital to the overall health of the sport as it is where the majority of owners and trainers operate and without it the very top of the sport would not thrive as it does.

“Already the response from horsemen to the news we will be putting £27.1 million into prize money next year has been overwhelmingly positive. We very much hope that this will be reflected on our racecourses in 2018.”

Breaking down the figures, The Jockey Club has stated:

·       Every JCR fixture will offer at least £40,000 in total race values

·       Every Sunday fixture run at JCR will offer at least £65,000 in total race values

·       Every JCR fixture will include at least one race worth £10,000 or more, while 83% of the group’s fixtures will have at least two per fixture, up from 58% in 2017

·       Every JCR ‘small course’ will have at least one fixture previously worth c£55,000 boosted to £80,000 or more from 2018, meaning that every JCR small course will stage at least four fixtures worth £80,000 or more next year (2017: 22 JCR small course fixtures worth £80,000 or more; 2018: 91% increase to 42 JCR small course fixtures at that value)

·       Despite the significant reduction of the industry’s Divided Race Fund, Jockey Club Racecourses will continue to invest to divide all races that reach the required number of declarations and are eligible to divide, creating a second and equal prize money opportunity and helping to reduce eliminations

Totally Gaming says: These announcements represent a huge commitment to horseracing, the benefits of which are set to be felt throughout an ever growing sport. Ensuring that money is going back into the sport, The Jockey Club is demonstrating its commitment to supporting British Racing at all levels.

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