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$18.7 million prize money increase unveiled for 2012-13 with 63% allocated to the country Racing Victoria (RV) has today announced that it will maintain its position as a national leader by delivering record prize money to its participants in the 2012-13 racing season.

Victorian prize money will rise to $160 million next season with an $18.7 million funding injection coming on top of the recent introduction of the lucrative VOBIS Gold scheme.

The $18.7 million prize money increase, 63% of which will be allocated to country meetings, will see across the board increases to minimum prize money levels from 1 August as follows;

Country Minimums

  • Standard - rises from $12,000 to $15,000
  • Showcase - rises from $22,500 to $30,000
  • Non-TAB - rises from $7,000 to $8,000

Metropolitan Minimums

  • Saturday - rises from $70,000 to $80,000 plus 2 x $100,000
  • Midweek - rises from $30,000 to $35,000
  • Standard Friday Night - rises from $30,000 to $35,000

The standard Saturday metropolitan meeting will include two races at a minimum of $100,000 and six races at a minimum of $80,000.

In addition to the above, the minimum prize money for country meetings in prime timeslots on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday has been increased from $15,000 to $17,500.

Minimum funding to clubs hosting Group and Listed races has also been increased by RV for the 2012-13 season meaning 86 black type races will receive prize money boosts.

Over two-thirds of Victoria's Listed races will increase from $100,000 to at least $120,000, whilst over half of the state's Group 3 races will increase from $125,000 to at least $150,000.

At the elite level, the Underwood Stakes, Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Toorak Handicap will all increase from $350,000 to at least $400,000 as part of RV's minimum funding increase for Group 1 races.

RV Chief Executive, Rob Hines, who made the announcement at Oaklands Junction prior to today's start of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, said the increases would benefit all.

“We are delighted to be investing $18.7 million of new funds into prize money from 1 August which will ensure that our participants are the best remunerated in the nation,”Hines said.

“These announcements come courtesy of the industry's new wagering joint venture with TABCORP which takes effect on 1 August and an in-principle agreement with Country Racing Victoria on our funding arrangements for the future.

“Having reached that in-principle agreement with Country Racing Victoria we have been able to increase the minimum country prize money level to $15,000 and significantly enhance our Country Showcase races.

“Indeed, the majority of this new money has been allocated to country meetings where the 25% increase in the minimum prize money level is aimed at fostering growth at the grass roots level and rewarding participation.

“Equally we are pleased to increase the metropolitan minimum stake to $80,000 and offer two $100,000 semi- features each and every weekend in Melbourne for participants to aspire to.

“We believe the new prize money structure will further encourage participation in the sport across all sectors which is important for the industry's growth and future direction.”

Hines said the prize money increases complemented the new VOBIS Gold scheme which was launched with the support of the Victorian Coalition Government in November.

The first VOBIS Gold races will be held during the 2012-13 season and once fully operational, Victoria's two breeding and racing incentive schemes, VOBIS Gold and Super VOBIS, will offer $18 million in bonuses annually.

Under the scheme, the owner of a qualified horse winning a standard $15,000 Victorian country race with a VOBIS Gold and Super VOBIS bonus attached will collect $27,185.

Similarly in Melbourne, the owner of a qualified horse winning a standard $80,000 Saturday metropolitan race with a VOBIS Gold and Super VOBIS bonus attached will pocket $78,900.

CRV Chief Executive, Scott Whiteman, welcomed news of the prize money increases which will deliver record returns to participants in country Victoria.

“These increases will ensure that confidence not only remains high in country Victoria, but we see significant growth opportunities for industry participants and customers. There is no better time than the present time to invest in a horse to race here in Victoria,” Whiteman said.

“CRV is also pleased to have reached agreement in-principle with Racing Victoria on future funding arrangements and takes this opportunity to thank Racing Victoria, the industry's joint venture partner TABCORP and the Baillieu Government for their roles in deliveringthe prize money increases for racing across the state, particularly in country Victoria.”