Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup worth more than ever
Victorian horseracing’s big three – the Lexus Melbourne Cup, Ladbrokes Cox Plate and Stella Artois Caulfield Cup – will all carry record prize-money this spring after hefty increases were announced by Racing Victoria on Friday.
The Melbourne Cup received a A$1 million lift to A$7.3m (£4.1m/€4.7m) while the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate become A$5m races after 67 per cent increases on the existing levels of A$3m.
A total of A$12.4m of prize-money will be poured into the state from the start of the new season in August. As well as addressing prize-money levels at the top end, Racing Victoria has also moved to bolster 67 country cups and other minor races across the state.
Racing Victoria was joined on Friday by the Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne Racing Club, Moonee Valley Racing Club and Country Racing Victoria in announcing the significant increases.
The investment will see a record A$228.5m in prize-money and bonuses on offer in Victoria next season, representing a 32 per cent increase since 2015 and leading to a nation high average of A$52,057 in prize-money and bonuses on offer per race.
All owners, trainers and jockeys will get the chance to share in the increases which are spread from iconic Group 1 races at Flemington, Caulfield and Moonee Valley to an array of once-a-year race meetings from Burrumbeet and Penshurst, to Gunbower and Wycheproof.
The highlights of Friday’s announcement are:
- Record prize-money for the jewels of Victoria’s spring racing carnival in a year in which Victoria celebrates 25 years of international competition: A$7.3m Melbourne Cup (November 6) – up A$1m; the A$5m Caulfield Cup (October 20 ) – up A$2m; the A$5m Cox Plate (October 27) – up A$2m
- Continued investment in three-year-old racing with Australia’s oldest Classic, the AAMI Victoria Derby (Flemington, November 3), raised by A$500,000 to A$2m
- A prize-money boost for every country cup, with an additional A$1.2m to be spread across 67 TAB, non-TAB and picnic cups, ensuring they remain a focal point for local communities to celebrate and enjoy
- The introduction of the A$1m The Showdown for VOBIS Sires-eligible two-year-olds at Caulfield on Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday on April 13, thus increasing the number of A$1m-plus races in Victoria from 17 to 18
- The further consolidation of Victoria’s place as the home of stayers with the Moonee Valley Gold Cup (October 27) increased by A$200,000 to A$500,000
- Greater returns for first-time winners with minimum prize-money for standard country maidens raised to A$23,000, for premium country maidens to A$26,000, and for maidens at midweek metropolitan meetings to $30,000
- Rewarding grassroots participation with minimum prize-money for non-TAB meetings up 20 per cent to A$12,000 per race; up 25 per cent for country SKY2 meetings to A$15,000 per race; and up 11 per cent for Benchmark 58s to A$20,000 per race
- An increase in minimum metropolitan prize-money to A$40,000 for all two-year-old, three-year-old and 'benchmark' races at midweek and standard Friday night meetings, before rising to a A$60,000 minimum per race for premium Friday nights at Moonee Valley
Racing Victoria’s chief executive officer Giles Thompson said: "The prize-money increases announced today serve to reward our owners, trainers and jockeys, while ensuring that Victoria remains a destination for the world’s best as we celebrate 25 years of international competition."
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