Wellington race Club secretary Ian Giffin says the announcement by Racing NSW of its largest prizemoney increases per race in the history will be significant for local racing.
“It’s good news for owners, jockeys, trainers and the industry,’’ he said.
The unprecedented increases follow Racing NSW’s success in the High Court decision last Friday when the High Court unanimously upheld the validity of the Race Fields Legislation and the fee charged by Racing NSW.
As a result of this comprehensive victory, Racing NSW announced the following significant increases:
o Country racing will receive a massive boost with a 50 per cent increase in prizemoney with every TAB race meeting increasing from $10,000 to $15,000 per race;
o Metropolitan Saturday race meeting prizemoney increases by 21 per cent from $70,000 to $85,000 per race;
o Metropolitan midweek race meeting prizemoney increases by 30 per cent from $27,000 to $35,000 per race;
o Provincial race meeting prizemoney increases by between 42 per cent and 46 per cent from $16,000 per race (and $14,000 per Saturday race) to $22,000 per race;
o Country SKY2 race meeting prizemoney will increase by 60 per race to $8,000 per race;
o Country non-TAB race meeting prizemoney will increase by 71 per cent to $6,000 per race;
o Licensed stablehands will receive 1.5 per cent of total prizemoney;
o Prizemoney will be paid to 10th place.
The prizemoney increases commence on July 1 2012.
In addition to those prizemoney increases:
o Racing NSW has utilised a significant amount of the fees collected to maintain the existing minimum prizemoney levels to date.
o A major portion of the remaining fees collected will be used to upgrade country racetracks, training facilities and infrastructure.
In making the announcement today, Racing NSW Chairman John Messara said the priority was to make all sectors of NSW racing viable and to secure the future for all of its 50,000 participants.
“We are determined to see participants across all sectors of the industry benefit and receive a fair return for their labour or financial investment whether as an owner, trainer, jockey or strapper.
“The flow-on effect to service providers such as vets, float drivers, farriers and feed merchants will also be substantial,” Messara said.
“Racing NSW fully appreciates the importance of Country Racing as an integral part of the economic and social fabric of rural communities. Rises in training costs over the last decade have made ownership in country regions non-viable and there was a need for a major upward adjustment to prizemoney.
“Importantly, country racing provides a platform on which much of the industry is built.
“While these prizemoney adjustments will place NSW in a competitive position against all Western Racing jurisdictions, we will be aiming for further increases to prizemoney including the Group and Listed category, subject to success in other revenue generating initiatives which are currently underway.”
Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys said that the new funding was being distributed in order to benefit the largest number of people possible.
“In a first for Australian racing, licensed stablehands will now get a cut of the prizemoney justly rewarding them for their efforts in the success of their stable.”
Mr V’landys also said that funds would be used to acquire additional drug testing equipment for the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL).
“Racing NSW is proud of the fact that it has one of the most proficient integrity systems in sport and wagering.
“In order to maintain our pre-eminent position on integrity issues and to keep pace with world’s best practice, we have a number of initiatives in the making including investment in several new sophisticated drug testing instruments,” Vlandys said.
“The ARFL is already recognised as one of the world’s leading drug testing laboratories.
This new equipment will enable the laboratory to detect thousands of drugs, including new age prohibited substances such as ITTP, so as to ensure that racing remains drug free.
Racing this Easter weekend is on at Mudgee on Sunday, Lightning Ridge on Saturday and Tottenham Picnics on Monday.