VICTORIAN Racing is set to receive a $ 40 million prizemoney bonanza, if the Andrews Labor Government wins next month’s election.
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula has promised an extra $ 33 million, a pledge which prompted Racing Victoria to commit a further $ 7 million to the industry at Wednesday night’s Stella Artois Caulfield Cup launch.
The extra funding would allow Victoria to reclaim the mantle from NSW as Australian racing’s prizemoney leader – and confirm its status as racing’s home.
Victoria currently offers $ 228.5 million annually, across 550 meetings.
NSW offers $ 260 million, across an estimated 700 meetings.
RV intends spreading the increases across all level of the sport, with an emphasis on grassroots competition.
The package, which would be implemented from January 1 2019, would ensure minimum prizemoney for every category of Victorian race would be at least the equal of anywhere in the nation.
The breakdown includes:
* $ 35,000 minimum prizemoney per race at over 170 country race meetings, up from $ 25,000-$ 30,000.
* $ 50,000 minimum prizemoney per race for midweek metropolitan race meetings, up from 30,000-$ 40,000.
* $ 135,000 minimum prizemoney per race for Saturday metropolitan races for three-year-olds and races over 2000m or further, up from $ 125,000.
* $ 125,000 minimum prizemoney per race for Saturday metropolitan meetings, up from $ 100,000.
The promised increases follow a $ 12.4 million boost at the start of the current season, allowing officials to offer more prizemoney for the $ 7.3 million Melbourne Cup, $ 5 million Caulfield Cup and $ 5 million Cox Plate.
RV Chairman Brian Kruger said: “We welcome this strong commitment from the Andrews Labor Government to strengthen their support of Victorian thoroughbred racing and importantly the 92,000 people that actively participate within our industry.
“Victoria has long been regarded as the premier racing state in Australia and like the Andrews Labor Government we are committed to maintaining that position of primacy.
“A vibrant and successful thoroughbred racing industry is great for Victoria. Enhancing returns to our owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders, particularly at the grassroots, is crucial to that.
“80% of our racing is conducted outside metropolitan Melbourne and this package would see minimum prizemoney increases at all country TAB meetings.
“This continues the support for grassroots racing with increases already implemented this season for country non-TAB meetings.
“Victoria is the home of the stayer, hosting 40% of the nation’s staying races including its most famous cups.
“Through this prizemoney package we want to ensure that Victoria remains the destination to race a stayer or a three-year-old.”