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MEDIA RELEASE- Thoroughbred Racing SA announces $5.8 million increase in grassroots prizemoney

The State's thoroughbred racing participants will share in an additional $5.8 million in prizemoney following unprecedented increases announced today by Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA).

The benefits of the new prizemoney levels - which come into effect on 1 September and represent an overall increase of almost 15% on TRSA's total prizemoney distributions - will be felt across the industry with country, provincial and metropolitan grassroots stakes all rising.

Highlights of the announcement include:

All prizemoney increases have been applied to grassroots racing:

  • 69% of the $5.8m prizemoney increases are on Provincial and Country races
  • 88% of thoroughbred's 1439 races will receive increases (of 11% to 35%)

More than 60% of all metropolitan races will now attract $50,000 prizemoney:

  • $45k races will now grow to $50k
  • $35k non-Maiden races will increase to $40k
  • $30k Maiden races will increase to $35k

Provincial races will benefit from increases of up to $5,000 per race:

  • Non-maiden races jump from $15k to $20k
  • Maidens increase to $17.5k from $13k

All country Cups will increase from $20,000 to $25,000:

  • Non-maiden races rise from $12k to $15k
  • Maidens increase from $10 to $13k

At $5.8 million, the total prizemoney increase is more than double TRSA's share of the State Government's racing stimulus announced in the 2019/20 State Budget, with the TRSA Board budgeting for growth from the increased investment in the thoroughbred racing industry.

The strategy deliberately puts the prizemoney increases into race meetings that traditionally benefit South Australian racing participants rather than interstate trained horses.

Quotes attributable to TRSA Chair Frances Nelson QC: 

"The State Government's budget commitment was recognition of both the significant adverse impact the point of consumption tax has had  on  racing, and the  importance  of a sound racing industry to the State.

"It was a critical first step in terms of restoring confidence in the industry Now, we are taking that to another level with this announcement which is the largest single prizemoney increase in the last decade.

"We have been unapologetically bold in our approach to our budget planning off the back of the Government funding for the next four years. The State Government has shown its faith in the industry; we are responding with a prizemoney commitment of a size and scale that we believe will encourage and stimulate participation at all levels.

"And we're are backing our industry to respond - because all of us want to make South Australian racing grow and prosper."

Quotes attributable to TRSA CEO Jim Watters:

"Prizemoney, in particular at grassroots level, is effectively industry wages. It's the lifeblood of the racing industry, driving investment by owners and participants which is vital in sustaining and growing the industry and the employment it delivers.

"While increased investment in infrastructure and clubs will follow with the TRSA Board now considering such, it was important to address prizemoney levels in the State as quickly as possible as we seek to retain our key participants."

Quotes attributable to South Australian Racing Minister Corey Wingard MP:

"As I said when we announced the stimulus package, it is important that everyone within the racing industry receives the flow-on benefits - from the breeders, trainers, and owners right through to the corporate stakeholders and hospitality staff."

Quotes attributable to SAJC Chair Bodelle Francis:

"As the State's largest club and training centre, this is welcome news as it will inject new levels of confidence into racing.

"A strong racing industry needs highly motivated and incentivised participants and the metropolitan prizemoney increases will be critical in achieving this."

Quotes attributable to Country Racing SA Chair Wayne Henson:

"The increases in provincial and country prizemoney is great news for racing families right around South Australia.

"Prizemoney is the reward for effort that so many people rely on for their livelihoods. It pays wages, stimulates investment and promotes growth, both in terms of horse numbers and employment. It's definitely a big step in the right direction."

The State Government's budget announcement also included a component for infrastructure investment. TRSA is now working with the Department of Recreation and Sport to better understanding the funding parameters.

Notes for context: The $24 million package announced in the State Budget is a commitment to all three racing codes (thoroughbred, harness and greyhound) with $8 million provided up front in the 2018/19 financial year and $4m per each year over four years from 2019/20 to 2022/23.

The three codes will receive the funding provided, based on their market share. Thoroughbred Racing SA received approximately $5.8m of the initial $8m, with government requiring that it be allocated 50- 50 between initiatives to stimulate the industry including prizemoney, and infrastructure projects.

Media enquiries: Phil Martin, Michels Warren on 0418 817 876 pmartin@micwar.com.au

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