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Racing Victoria (RV) and Premier Denis Napthine have today announced further enhancements to Victoria’s lucrative breeding and racing incentive scheme, VOBIS Gold.

The Premier has reaffirmed the Coalition Government’s four-year $6.8 million commitment to promote Victoria’s thoroughbred breeding industry and reward owners competing in this state.

The announcement, which comes on the eve of tomorrow’s $130,000 VOBIS Gold Elvstroem Classic at Swan Hill, includes the following;

· Extension of the Napthine Coalition Government’s commitment to subsidise 50% of the VOBIS Gold nomination fee for the next two years;

· Expansion of the exclusive VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series to include six three-year-old feature races alongside four two-year-old features;

· 2013-14 VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series to offer $1.8 million in prize money and bonuses across 10 races – five in Melbourne, five in country Victoria;

· The addition of Ballarat and Wangaratta as hosts of VOBIS Gold Premier Races alongside existing country hosts Swan Hill, Bendigo and Warrnambool;

· Creation of a VOBIS Gold Premier Raceday at Flemington on 5 April, 2014 with $210,000 VOBIS Gold Ingot (2YO) & $280,000 VOBIS Gold Stakes (3YO).

Together with the expansion of the Premier Race Series, the 2013-14 racing season will also see VOBIS Gold bonuses offered on more than 100 three-year-old races for the first time.

The $20,000 VOBIS Gold bonuses have been highly sought by this season’s two-year-olds – the inaugural crop of nominated horses – who will remain eligible throughout their career for the one-off Government- subsidised entry fee of $1100.

When fully operational, VOBIS Gold and its mother scheme Super VOBIS will see $18 million in bonuses and exclusive prizemoney on offer across Victoria each year.

“We’re delighted to unveil the plans for an enhanced VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series in season 2013-14 and to reaffirm the Coalition Government’s valued support of this important scheme for both owners and breeders,” RV Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, said.

“Thanks to the support of the Coalition Government, owners will continue to pay only $1100 to make their VOBIS Gold horse eligible not only for the Premier Race Series, but for lucrative bonuses right throughout its racing career, not just at two and three years of age.

“We are particularly pleased to extend the footprint of VOBIS Gold further into country Victoria with the addition of the $130,000 VOBIS Gold Stakes on Ballarat Cup Day this November and the $100,000 VOBIS Gold Stakes at Wangaratta on their Cup Day in March 2014.

“With VOBIS Gold nominations closing on 30 June, today’s announcement is a timely reminder to all owners to ensure they enter their eligible yearling by the deadline to avoid the on-going disappointment of lost earning opportunities.”

Dr Napthine said VOBIS Gold was already creating benefits for the Victorian breeding industry particularly premiums being paid at yearling sales for VOBIS Gold eligible horses.

“These increased prices for Victorian bred yearlings are in turn attracting investment in Victorian studs and broodmare farms leading to economic benefits and jobs.

“VOBIS Gold is the pre-eminent incentive scheme across Australia providing genuine financial encouragement to breed, buy and race Victorian bred yearlings.

“The economic benefits to Victoria, including new job opportunities in rural areas, created by a growing breeding industry are enormous,” Dr Napthine said.

The 2013-14 VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series is as follows;

2YO · $280,000 VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) – Bendigo, 15 March 2014 · $210,000 VOBIS Gold Ingot (1200m) – Flemington, 5 April 2014 · $100,000 VOBIS Gold Strike (1000m, Fillies) – Warrnambool, 29 April 2014 · $160,000 VOBIS Gold Elvstroem Classic (1300m) – Swan Hill, 6 June 2014

3YO · $130,000 VOBIS Gold Stakes (1400m) – Ballarat, 24 November 2013 · $180,000 VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m) – Caulfield, 4 January 2014 · $180,000 VOBIS Gold Star (1500m) – Moonee Valley, 24 January 2014 · $100,000 VOBIS Gold Stakes (1300m) – Wangaratta, 2 March 2014 · $280,000 VOBIS Gold Stakes (1600m) – Flemington, 5 April 2014 · $180,000 VOBIS Gold Stakes (1800m) – Caulfield, 26 July 2014

VOBIS Gold yearling nominations close on 30 June 2013, as do Super VOBIS late entries for the same foal crop. Only Super VOBIS qualified and paid up yearlings may be nominated to VOBIS Gold.

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