Victoria’s three most famous races – the Lexus Melbourne Cup, Ladbrokes Cox Plate and Stella Artois Caulfield Cup – will carry record prizemoney this Spring Racing Carnival and the state’s 67 Country Cups will each receive a boost as part of widespread prizemoney increases announced today for the 2018-19 racing season.
Racing Victoria (RV) was joined by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), Melbourne Racing Club (MRC), Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) and Country Racing Victoria (CRV) in announcing a $12.4 million injection into prizemoney across the state from 1 August 2018.
The investment will see a record $228.5 million in prizemoney and bonuses on offer in Victoria next season, representing a 32% increase since 2015 and leading to a nation high average of $52,057 in prizemoney and bonuses on offer per race.
Importantly, 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 The Valley to an array of once-a-year race meetings from Burrumbeet and Penshurst, to Gunbower and Wycheproof.
The highlights of today’s announcement are:
• Record prizemoney for the jewels of Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival in a year in which Victoria celebrates 25 years of international competition:
o $7.3 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m, Flemington, 6 November) – up $1 million
o $5 million Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m, Caulfield, 20 October) – up $2 million
o $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m, The Valley, 27 October) – up $2 million;
• Continued investment in three-year-old racing with Australia’s oldest classic, the AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m, Flemington, 3 November), raised by $500,000 to $2 million;
• A prizemoney boost for every Country Cup with an additional $1.2 million 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 $1 million The Showdown for VOBIS Sires-eligible two-year-olds at Caulfield on Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday – 13 April 2019 - thus increasing the number of $1 million+ 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 (2500m, The Valley, 27 October) increased by $200,000 to $500,000;
• Greater returns for first-time winners with minimum prizemoney for standard country maidens raised to $23,000, for premium country maidens to $26,000 and for maidens at midweek metropolitan meetings to $30,000;
• Rewarding grass roots participation with minimum prizemoney for non-TAB meetings up 20% to $12,000 per race; up 25% for country SKY2 meetings to $15,000 per race; and up 11% for Benchmark 58s to $20,000 per race; and
• An increase in minimum metropolitan prizemoney to $40,000 for all two-year-old, three-year-old and Benchmark races at midweek and standard Friday night meetings, before rising to a $60,000 minimum per race for premium Friday nights at The Valley.
Quotes attributable to Racing Victoria Chief Executive Officer, Giles Thompson
“The prizemoney 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.
“Our vision is ‘Racing for All’ and there is something for all owners, trainers and jockeys within these prizemoney increases which stretch from the Melbourne Cup to the Burrumbeet Cup.
“While we are delighted to deliver increases in prizemoney for the Lexus Melbourne Cup, Stella Artois Caulfield Cup and Ladbrokes Cox Plate, we’re equally pleased to boost prizemoney for every Country Cup in the state and to support our grass roots participants with increases to non-TAB, SKY2 and Benchmark 58 races also.
“We’re also excited to launch the inaugural $1 million The Showdown on an expanding Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday next April and to consolidate Victoria’s position as both the home of stayers and the place to race three-year-olds.
“I want to acknowledge the Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne Racing Club, Moonee Valley Racing Club and our Country Clubs, led by Country Racing Victoria, both for their ongoing contributions to prizemoney and for their fantastic efforts in showcasing our great sport.”
Quotes attributable to Victoria Racing Club Chief Executive Officer, Neil Wilson
“The Victoria Racing Club is delighted with the increases in prizemoney for both the AAMI Victoria Derby and the Lexus Melbourne Cup, enhancing the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s position as Australia’s greatest racing event.
“The Lexus Melbourne Cup is the jewel in the crown as the world’s richest 3200-metre race, and now offers $7.3 million in prizemoney for the first time in its 158-year history.
“The AAMI Victoria Derby receives a significant prizemoney boost for the first time since 2004, making Australia’s premier staying classic even more attractive for the nation’s best three-year-old stayers.”
Quotes attributable to Melbourne Racing Club Chief Executive Officer, Josh Blanksby
“The Caulfield Cup is the world’s pre-eminent turf handicap over the classic 2400-metre distance, a fact we are thrilled to have solidified by this enhancement.
“It is particularly exciting that it coincides with a new naming rights partner in Stella Artois, signalling an historic time for the race and the Melbourne Racing Club.
“Collectively, the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival is the Southern Hemisphere’s greatest racing event, if not the world’s, which is further confirmed by this announcement.”
Quotes attributable to Moonee Valley Racing Club Chairman, Don Casboult
“This is a tremendous day for the Moonee Valley Racing Club and the Ladbrokes Cox Plate. This prizemoney increase is a significant boost for our great race and ensures that the Cox Plate remains the pinnacle of Australian racing.
“The Cox Plate honour roll features the greatest horses we have seen race in Australia over the past 97 years. As we move towards the 100th running of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate in 2020, the MVRC has been committed to securing this uplift to prizemoney to ensure we continue to attract the best horses from Australia and overseas.
“This prizemoney increase has been delivered through the strong relationship that the MVRC has with Racing Victoria. I thank Racing Victoria for their tremendous support of our drive to achieve this outcome. I also thank our major partner Ladbrokes for their support of the MVRC and the Cox Plate.
“Next week, the MVRC will issue invitations to the best international weight-for-age middle distance turf horses to travel to Melbourne to contest the Ladbrokes Cox Plate on Saturday, 27 October. Over the coming years, the Club will continue to develop the international profile of the Cox Plate and we believe that prizemoney of $5 million will be very tempting to connections of these horses.”
Quotes attributable to Country Racing Victoria Chief Executive, Scott Whiteman
“Country racing plays a crucial role in the success of Victorian racing and it’s important that it remains strong and vibrant to showcase our sport in communities right across the state.
“We’re delighted to announce today that every Country Cup, from our high-profile cups during the Spring Racing Carnival to our once-a-year picnic cups, will get a prizemoney increase next season and over the coming weeks we’ll be working with each Club and Racing Victoria to finalise the details of their funding increase.
“Country Racing Victoria has campaigned for increases to minimum prizemoney at our grass roots level and thus we also welcome the increases that have been announced today for Non-TAB and SKY2 meetings, as well as for Benchmark 58 races. They are important to maintain and hopefully grow participation.”