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Victorian Prize Money Increase

  • Racing Victoria has announced a big prize money increase across Victorian racing
  • Group racing has been especially impacted by this boost 
  • Picnic, country and metro racing have all increased in prize money
Victorian Prize Money Increase
Racing Victoria has announced a large prize money increase (Getty)
Justin Darcy 21 Jun 2021
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Racing Victoria has announced a significant prize money boost across Victorian racing accumulating in more than $16 million.

Most races across the 2021/22 Victorian racing calendar has been boosted in prize money, from picnic meetings all the way to group one level racing.

“This additional investment is possible thanks to all within Victorian racing who have worked diligently to keep our sport safely going throughout the pandemic and it will most importantly help underpin 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs in our state,” Racing Victoria's Brian Kruger said.

“This increase is also a reward for the owners who have remained loyal to Victorian racing despite months of lockouts and restricted access that have been required to ensure that we could safely continue racing during an unprecedented period.”

The prizemoney increases are as follows:

Country Minimums

  • Over $4 million is being invested to increase minimum prizemoney levels at all 207 standard country meetings from $22,000 to $25,000 per race, including standard maidens which rise from $23,000 to $25,000; and
  • Grass roots racing has received a significant uplift with minimum prizemoney for picnic races increasing from $4,000 to $5,000; for non-TAB races from $12,000 to $15,000; and for SKY 2 races from $15,000 to $20,000.

Metropolitan Minimums 

  • Minimum prizemoney levels for standard Saturday metropolitan races will be increased from $125,000 to $130,000;
  • A major investment in Friday night metropolitan racing at The Valley with minimum prizemoney for the 11 standard meetings rising from $50,000 to $60,000, for the three feature meetings from $60,000 to $75,000, and for the three Group 1 meetings from $125,000 to $130,000.

Group & Listed Minimums

The introduction of new minimums for black type races will see prizemoney for 114 Group and Listed races automatically updated with some afforded additional increases as outlined further below. The new black type prizemoney minimums are:

  • Group 1 minimum - $750,000 (up from $500,000)
  • Group 2 minimum - $300,000 (up from $200,000)
  • Group 3 minimum - $200,000 (up from $160,000)
  • Listed minimum - $160,000 (up from $140,000)

Metropolitan Features

Prizemoney has been increased to the following totals for these Group 1 races:

  • Newmarket Handicap (1200m, Flemington) – $1.5 million (up $250,000)
  • Toorak Handicap (1600m, Caulfield) - $1 million (up $500,000)
  • William Reid Stakes (1200m, The Valley) - $1 million (up $500,000)
  • Black Caviar Lightning (1000m, Flemington) - $1 million (up $250,000)
  • Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m, Caulfield) - $750,000 (up $250,000)
  • Turnbull Stakes (2000m, Flemington) - $750,000 (up $250,000)
  • C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m, Caulfield) - $750,000 (up $250,000)
  • Futurity Stakes (1400m, Caulfield) - $750,000 (up $250,000)
  • Oakleigh Plate (1100m, Caulfield) - $750,000 (up $250,000)

Prizemoney has been increased above the minimum for the following Group 2 races which headline feature Saturday meetings during the 2021 Spring Racing Carnival:

  • Zipping Classic (2400m, Caulfield, 28 November) - $750,000 (up $500,000)
  • Feehan Stakes (1600m, The Valley, 4 September) - $500,000 (up $250,000)
  • Flemington Finals Day is one of the highlights of Victoria’s winter racing calendar and the July 2022 edition will boast two $200,000 features with prizemoney for the Winter Championship Final (1600m) and Mahogany Challenge Final (2500m) both increased.

Pre-COVID Restoration

Prizemoney has been restored to pre-COVID levels for the following Group races during the 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington which were reduced last year due to the impacts and uncertainty of the pandemic:

  • Cantala Stakes (1600m, Group 1) - $2 million (up $500,000)
  • Darley Sprint Classic (1200m, Group 1) - $2 million (up $500,000)
  • Carbine Club Stakes (1600m, Group 3) - $500,000 (up $250,000)
  • Hotham Handicap (2500m, Group 3) - $300,000 (up $100,000)
  • Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m, Group 3) - $300,000 (up $100,000)
  • Red Roses Stakes (1100m, Group 3) - $300,000 (up $100,000)

Country Features

  • The Cranbourne Cup (1600m), which headlines a new standalone Saturday metropolitan meeting on 13 November 2021, will be run for $500,000 – an uplift of $100,000. Total prizemoney for the meeting will surpass $1.5 million with co-feature the Apache Cat Classic (1000m) up from $100,000 to $150,000;
  • The 2022 Warrnambool May Carnival has received a significant boost with total prizemoney rising over $400,000 to more than $2.64 million. Minimum prizemoney increases to $50,000 per race across all three days, while the Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) rises to $300,000 (from $250,000) and the Listed Wangoom Handicap (1200m) to $200,000 (from $175,000);
  • The 2022 Swan Hill Cup Carnival will boast a 20% increase in total prizemoney with minimum levels on the Friday and Sunday of the three-day Carnival boosted to $40,000. The Carnival’s major races will also rise next year with the Swan Hill Cup (1600m) going to $175,000 (from $125,000) and the Golden Topaz (1200m) to $150,000 (from $100,000); and 
  • The 2022 Golden Mile Raceday at Bendigo, one of the state’s six standalone Saturday metropolitan meetings, will offer record prizemoney with the purse for the Golden Mile, Bendigo Guineas (1400m) and St Leger Trial (2200m) all lifted to $200,000 – increases of between $50,000 and $65,000 each.

Staying and 3YO Races

With the increase in minimum metropolitan Saturday prizemoney to $130,000, the remaining $5,000 premium on staying and three-year-old races will be removed next season and redistributed to a broad sphere of feature staying and three-year-old races. 

Those with resultant prizemoney increases are: 

  • The Andrew Ramsden (2800m, 3,4&5YO) – $500,000 (up $100,000)
  • VRC St Leger (2800m, 3YO) – $300,000 (up $100,000)
  • St Leger Trial (2200m, 3YO) – $200,000 (up $65,000)
  • Geelong Classic (2200m, 3YO) – $200,000 (up $60,000)
  • Galilee Series Final (2400m, 3YO) – $200,000 (up $50,000)
  • Torney Night Cup (2500m, Open) - $200,000 (up $50,000)
  • Bendigo Guineas (1400m, 3YO) – $200,000 (up $50,000)
  • Bagot Handicap (2800m, Open) - $200,000 (up $40,000)
  • Mahogany Challenge Final (2500m, 3YO) – $200,000 (up $40,000)
  • Flemington Cup 1849 (2800m, Open) – $175,000 (up $25,000)
  • Mornington Guineas (1500m, 3YO) – $150,000 (up $15,000) 

Jumps Racing 

Jumps racing will receive an additional $730,000 in prizemoney for the 2022 season commencing in March. The increases, which will be detailed under separate cover, will be spread from minimum prizemoney through to feature races in the J.J. Houlahan Jumps Championship and take the total prizemoney pool to $4.65 million.
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