Surge in campsite takings aids prize-money levels at Fakenham
Fakenham has announced it will contribute a minimum of £22,000 of its own finances towards prize-money on each of its five remaining racedays this year.
The Norfolk track, whose 2020-21 season kicks off on October 16, has endured the Covid-19 pandemic's economic effects better than most tracks as it has seen a healthy boost in takings from its on-course campsite. It lost three meetings at the end of the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus outbreak.
David Hunter, chief executive and clerk of the course at Fakenham, said: "Like all racecourses we have had a very difficult time since Covid raised its ugly head in March. We lost three meetings at the tailend of last season but it could have been a lot worse and against that gloomy backdrop we have to be very grateful our touring caravan and camping site has been, and continues to be, very popular with guests as a result of staycations."
He added of Fakenham's forthcoming resumption: "Prize-money is essential for the wellbeing of the sport and Fakenham has always proudly committed as much as it can to the prize-money pot.
"In this time of Covid uncertainty that commitment remains as strong as ever and Fakenham will contribute at least £22,000 of its own funds to the prize-money at each remaining fixture in 2020 and we hope to be able to do the same next year.
"This figure is 75 per cent of the prize-money contribution we made in pre-Covid times and when it's added to Horserace Betting Levy Board and British Horseracing Authority grants it means each meeting will offer in excess of £60,000 for a six- or seven-race card."
Fakenham also plans to stage two handicap races per fixture that will qualify for prize-money bonuses.
Hunter said: "From October onwards we shall offer two pre-selected handicap races on each day as ‘Double Up Bonus Races’. If the winning horse in each bonus race, on the same day, is trained by the same trainer then the winning owner of each horse will get an extra £2,000 added to their prize-money."
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