A Great Boost
Last week Racing Victoria announced a $12.4 million prizemoney boost for the upcoming 2018-19 season, bringing the states total to $228.5m.
This will be distributed across the board into the major races (significant increases to the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Victoria Derby) as well as country cups, grass roots racing, and importantly into first time winners of maiden races.
This injection represents an increae of 32% in prizemoney in Victoria since 2015. The average prize money and bonuses per race as of August 1 will be $52,057, which will be the highest in Australia.
Maiden races are to carry a minimum amount of $23,000 for standard country maidens, $26,000 for premium country maidens, and $30,000 to midweek maidens at metropolitan venues. This is an important segment of the prizemoney distribution model as owners who buy horses at the yearling sales are often waiting and paying bills 12-18 months (and often longer) to celebrate that first victory. Acknowledgement of that in the form of prizemoney should be high on the priority list for racing administrators, and it’s nice to see it heading in the right direction. I believe we can continue to reward first time winners by making all maidens worth between $40,000-$50,000 in the short-term future.
In addition, the introduction of races such as the $2m Inglis Millennium and the $1m Showdown, not to mention the $10 Magic Millions raceday and the staggering $13m Everest, combined with 6-figure minimum prizemoney levels for Melbourne and Sydney 2 & 3yo races, would suggest that there has never been a more exciting, lucrative and better time to be an owner in Australia.