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Creation of Midway Races as part of prizemoney increases to $20 million

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Racing NSW, Media Release, 24 February 2021

Racing NSW today announced prizemoney increases of some $20 million annually and the creation of a new $100,000 Midway Race to be added to metropolitan Saturday race meetings.

Racinf NSW screen
Racing NSW

This announcement is highlighted by almost $9 million of increases in prizemoney for country race meetings to be applied across all sectors of country racing including non-TAB and Picnic races.

Further, the creation of the $100,000 Midway Races exclusively for horses from small to mid-sized NSW metropolitan and provincial stables to be run at metropolitan Saturday race meetings from 1 July 2021. A point scoring system will be applied to such trainers based on the number and level of race of winners trained by them in the previous year to see if they meet the mid-size category.

Prizemoney for TAB Highway races (which are for country domiciled horses only) will also be increased to $100,000. With this announcement today, total annual prizemoney to be paid for country racing in NSW will now be more than $91 million which is an increase of $58 million (176%) since 2012. Country racing has received the largest increase of any sector over this time.

Minimum prizemoney increases for Country and Metropolitan racing from 1 July 2021 are outlined below:

Race TypeMinimum Prizemoney from 1 July 2021Annual Increase
Metropolitan Saturdays$130,000$1,350,000
Metropolitan Saturday Midway Races$100,000$4,800,000
TAB Highways$100,000$1,200,000
Country TAB$24,000$5,200,000
Country Sky 2$15,000$1,400,000
Country Non-TAB$10,000$920,000
Country Picnic$3,000$130,000
Additional Country Showcase meetings$30,000$1,280,000

As noted above, there will also be a further 20 country race meetings that will be upgraded to Country Showcase status carrying prizemoney of $30,000 per race, an annual increase of $1,280,000.

Our Spring Racing Carnival from 2021 has also been enhanced as set out below, with increased prizemoney for a number of feature races, highlighted by the Epsom Handicap prizemoney increasing to $1.5 million and a $1 million bonus to any horse that is able to win both the Craven Plate and the Rosehill Gold Cup in the same year.

Additional feature races have been introduced to further strengthen the revamped Spring Racing Carnival introduced by Racing NSW, which is headlined by The Everest and The Golden Eagle in the metropolitan area with The Hunter and The Gong featuring in the regional areas.

Race NamePrizemoney from 1 July 2021Annual Increase
Epsom Handicap$1,500,000$500,000
Villiers Stakes$750,000$500,000
Flight Stakes$750,000$250,000
Craven Plate$750,000$250,000
Rosehill Gold Cup$750,000$250,000
New Spring feature races x 2$500,000 each$1,000,000
Lead up to The Hunter and The Gong$200,000 each$400,000
Bonus for winning both the Craven Plate and Rosehill Gold Cup$1,000,000$1,000,000

Minister for Racing, Mr Kevin Anderson, welcomed the prizemoney increases and creation of the Midway Races.

“It is great to see continued increases in prizemoney to the grassroots of racing and new ways to broaden and strengthen racing in NSW,” Mr Anderson said.

“Racing continues to go from strength to strength in NSW across the board, whether it be feature Carnivals, TAB racing or non-TAB and picnic racing,” Mr Anderson further remarked.

The Chairman of Racing NSW, Mr Russell Balding AO, identified the importance of prizemoney increases being spread throughout the industry, stating:

“We are pleased to be able to announce this significant increase in prizemoney which will benefit country races as well as the Saturday metropolitan race meeting each week. These increases broaden the spread of prizemoney and further improve the dividends back to our owners and participants. We also want to make sure that our traditional Spring Feature races continue to attract quality fields and maintain their prizemoney relativity.

“The objective of the Midway Races is to build the competitiveness of small to mid-sized stables and further develop the field sizes and quality for metropolitan racing,” Mr Balding added.

Australian Turf Club Vice Chair, Ms Julia Ritchie welcomed the feature race prizemoney increases.

“Our Everest Carnival will be further boosted by prizemoney increases for iconic races such as the Epsom Handicap, while also developing the Carnival’s middle-distance program,” Ms Ritchie said.

“It is pleasing a number of our flagship races across Spring and into the Summer have been recognised with these prizemoney increases,” Ms Ritchie added.


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