Racing NSW has announced increases in minimum prizemoney for ATC midweek and public holiday race meetings along with NSW thoroughbred race dates for 2013/14. The Australian Turf Club has also announced important changes to its Spring Carnival for 2013.
Increases to Midweek and Public Holiday Minimum Prizemoney
Racing NSW Chief Executive, Mr Peter V’landys has announced increases in midweek/Sunday prizemoney to $40,000 per race (from $35,000) and public holiday prize money to $50,000 per race (from $42,250). The changes represent a net increase in total NSW prizemoney of almost $1.5 million per annum.
These prizemoney increases accompany changes to the list of metropolitan and provincial racing schedule for 2013/14.
“We are delighted to announce that Racing NSW will fund from race fields fees, increases in minimum prizemoney for midweek and public holiday race meetings,” Mr V’landys said.
“This is a further positive development for thoroughbred racing, not only in Sydney but for owners throughout the state with it now being more rewarding to capture a metropolitan win,” added Mr V’landys.
ATC Chief Executive Mr Darren Pearce welcomed the changes.
“The restructuring of metropolitan race dates and increases in prizemoney across more than sixty of the ATC’s race meetings is important to make Sydney competitive on the world stage.
“Running a tighter list of fixtures for higher prizemoney is more efficient and will better position Sydney in the eyes of industry and reinvigorate interest in metropolitan racing for all NSW participants,” Mr Pearce added.
Metropolitan and Provincial Racing
The metropolitan and provincial racing schedule is restructured with ten metropolitan midweek meetings transferred to provincial race clubs and conducted as provincial meetings from July 2013.
The Australian Turf Club will conduct 113 race meetings, down from 123. The ten transferred meetings will be shared among Newcastle, Hawkesbury, and Kembla Grange with Mr V’landys explaining that these tracks were preferred for these meetings.
“Conducting these transferred meetings at the racecourses which are geometrically designed to be conducive to competitive racing is important from the viewpoint of maximising wagering interest. We must ensure that our racing punters receive every chance when investing in our sport,” said Mr V’landys.
A reduction of metropolitan meetings accompanied by increases in prizemoney will be attractive to connections of better horses. In turn this is expected to improve race field sizes and wagering interest.
Racing NSW also outlined qualitative reasons for selecting Newcastle, Hawkesbury and Kembla Grange to conduct the meetings.
“Trainers often use provincial racing to develop and educate horses in the formative stages of their career and this is better suited when racing on larger tracks, better enabling horses to settle with less chance of being bustled,” Mr V’landys concluded.
Newcastle and Kembla Grange will each stage 34 meetings in 2013/14, with the Hawkesbury Race Club to stage 25 race meetings at Hawkesbury for 2013/14.
Australian Turf Club Spring Carnival
The Australian Turf Club has also announced a revamped Spring Racing Carnival with the Group 1 Spring Champion Stks to be the highlight of its Royal Randwick meeting on Saturday 12 October 2013.
“We have revisited the three-year-old staying programme for the spring, with the Spring Champion Stks and lead up races such as the Gloaming Stakes moving seven days later. The change also provides for a two week progression from the Golden Rose, through the Gloaming to the Spring Champions Stakes,” explained Mr Pearce.
The ATC has also changed its spring sprinting series with the Concorde Stks to be run over 1000m at Royal Randwick and The Shorts returning to 1100m leading in to the G2 Premiere Stakes 1200m on Epsom SuperSaturday. Finally, race distances for two legs of the three-year-old fillies ‘Princess Series’ have been changed. The Furious Stks is to be run over 1200m and the Tea Rose Stks to be run over 1400m from 2013.
The restructure of the mares program will also provide a fortnightly series including the Sheraco 1200m, Golden Pendant 1400m and Angst Stakes 1600m.
The ATC will re-open the refurbished Kensington track at Royal Randwick on Sunday 29 September 2013. For the first time a Sunday meeting will be featured on free to air television, along with the Caulfield meeting on the same day.
In addition to the transfer of ten meetings to provincial racecourses, the dates for the Hawkesbury and Gosford Cups have been changed for the upcoming season.
The Hawkesbury Cup will be run for the first time in August moving from its previous date in November. The Cup meeting is scheduled for Thursday 22 August 2013.
The Gosford Race Club has moved their Cup meeting which also features the Takeover Target Stks and Belle of the Turf Stks from a Thursday, to Friday 10 January 2014. The meeting will be run as a twilight fixture.
The country racing schedule for 2013/14 is similar to previous seasons maintaining a full schedule of TAB meetings. In order to better meet demand for week day TAB racing, some matinee meetings during the Christmas/New Year period are being transferred to week days. This is expected to maximise the wagering appeal of these fixtures while maintaining racing opportunities for participants.