The prizemoney war continues: https://www.racing.com/news/2022-06-07/news-industry-rvs-prize-money-boost-bonanza
Racing Victoria has announced significant increases to prize money and made a number of key changes to its racing program for the new racing season.
For the first time Victorian prize money will surpass $300m, with a rich revamp to the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival headlining the changes announced by Racing Victoria on Tuesday morning.
Stakes Day will now be known as VRC Champion Stakes Day and will see the Cantala Stakes move back to the last day of the Cup carnival, be renamed the Kennedy Champions Mile and now be worth a cool $3 million.
The Darley and the Mackinnon Stakes [the latter to be renamed the VRC Champions Stakes] remain on Stakes Day and will see prize money for each rise to $3m, up from $2 million. Prize money across the newly minted VRC Champions Stakes Day will be $10 million.
The Caulfield Guineas will increase $1m to $3m, while the Manikato Stakes will also increase by the same amount to $2m.
It makes the Manikato, which has recently come under threat from The Everest, the richest race under lights in Australia.
And Racing Victoria has also hinted at possible bonuses to come to make the Manikato even more appetizing for connections.
The Australian Cup will move to the end of March and double in prize money to $3m.
Meanwhile, country racing has also been boosted with $7m of increases across the board. Standard country minimums rise to a nation-high $27,000, premium meetings to at least $37,500 and night meetings to $40,000.
There will also be increases at metro level, with Saturday 2YO, 3YO, BM90, BM100 and Open Handicap races increasing from $130,000 to $150,000.
Midweek races will increase from $50,000 to $55,000.
Racing Victoria CEO Giles said over $26 million in prize money and VOBIS bonuses had been announced for the new racing season.
“In formulating our prize money structure, our priority was to ensure that any increases are sustainable and that a broad cross section of races, from country minimums to Group 1 races, were able to receive an uplift and I’m pleased that we have been able to achieve that,” Thompson said.
“The 2022-23 race dates have been constructed with a focus on continuing to build customer engagement, exploring opportunities to grow wagering returns to the industry, and ensuring we continue to deliver quality racing especially across our peak periods.
“We look forward to an exciting finale to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, which will now see three prized Group 1 races contested on VRC Champions Stakes Day which will offer $10 million in prizemoney.
“The Caulfield Guineas is the most coveted three-year-old mile in Australia and it has received a prizemoney boost in recognition of its status, while the Cox Plate Carnival has been further enhanced with the Manikato Stakes becoming the richest race under lights in Australia.
“We have also listened to participants and racing fans regarding the structure of our feature races during the Festival of Racing and are pleased to deliver a program that will extend the quality of racing deeper into autumn with the move of the time-honoured Australian Cup to after The All-Star Mile.”https://www.racing.com/news/2022-06-07/news-opinion-rv-invests-in-its-spring-future
COMMENT: RV invests in spring future
The most revealing aspect of Racing Victoria's prizemoney announcement on Tuesday morning was the governing body's attitude to its No.1 feature - the Melbourne Cup.
Just a day earlier, Australia's greatest race was moved to third in terms of total prizemoney behind NSW's pair of non-Stakes races The Everest (worth $15 million) and the four-year-olds-only race The Golden Eagle, which was raised from $7.5m to $10m.
RV's refusal to lift the Melbourne Cup prizemoney in response signals a significant departure from the prizemoney arms war that had been building up in recent seasons between NSW and Victoria.
When The Golden Eagle first landed with Kolding's win in 2019, it was worth $7.5m. The VRC reacted immediately to the news of the new race and pushed Melbourne Cup prizemoney from $7m to $7.75m.
But with The Golden Eagle rising to $10m during spring, RV made no move on the Melbourne Cup. Instead, it put new money into other established spring races, with the sole intent of improving and modernising the entire Spring Carnival.
In many ways, RV is allowing The Pattern to do the talking. While the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes was lifted by $500,000 to $2m and the Caulfield Guineas rose $1m to $3m, it hardly amounted to buckets of money as The Pattern already ensures that the value of its winners (mostly colts) skyrockets as a result.
This bolstering of the Spring Carnival program, especially the four days at Flemington, has a great flow-on effect not only to the industry but also to the community.
The four days at Flemington produce wagering turnover of such magnitude that it represents nearly 10 per cent of total wagering turnover for the season, with the benefits of such a successful carnival flow-on to all levels of racing, while also producing a sizeable spike in tourism and to the local economy.
The shifting of the G1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) from Derby Day to final day makes a lot of sense on several levels.
The mile handicap is a traditional feature on opening day, but the race has been squeezed of its importance and profile due to the day's increasingly packed schedule.
There are the three-year-old G1 features the Coolmore Stud Stakes and Victoria Derby, along with the mares' G1 the Empire Rose Stakes. The Lexus Hotham elevates its winner straight into the Melbourne Cup field, which is finalised that afternoon before the Cup barrier draw is once again conducted following the last race.
Amid all that drama, the Cantala result often gets lost.
The shift to final day allows the Cantala more air and it sits neatly beside its G1 bedfellows the VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and the Mackinnon Stakes (over 2000m and to be known as VRC Champion Stakes).
In its place on opening day is the reinvigorated Linlithgow Stakes, which has a major cash injection as it rises from 1200m to 1400m.
The strategy here is to eventually elevate the race to G1 status to become the VRC's sole 1400-metre G1 race."
PS: On page 3 of this topic I had a list of the Worlds Richest Thoroughbred Races which will now be out of date.