Racing Queensland Chairman Steve Wilson has announced $550,000 in prize money increases for non-TAB thoroughbred racing as part of the state government’s welcomed $18 million allocation for thoroughbred prize money.
The announcement comes in the wake of the highly successful $75,000 Country Cups Challenge Final; one of a number of new country racing initiatives introduced by Racing Queensland over the past two years.
Mr Wilson said minimum prizemoney for all non-TAB thoroughbred races will rise to $7450 with the payment for first place rising to $5000.
The increases come into effect on Saturday, 15 December 2018 and were finalised after consultation with the Country Racing Advisory Panel.
“I would like to again take the opportunity to thank the government for listening to the Queensland industry and their concerns prior to the recent prize money announcement,” Mr Wilson said.
“The prize money increases for both non-TAB and TAB thoroughbred racing aim to directly improve cash flow and industry viability for participants and owners.
“It is hoped the recent announcements will help lift confidence within the Queensland industry and make it more attractive to race a horse at any of Queensland’s 120 thoroughbred clubs.”
Since the start of January 2017 Racing Queensland has announced a number of enhancements to country and provincial racing including the;
- Introduction of the Country Racing Series
- Race To The Reef
- Race To Roma
- Outback Showcase
- Battle of the Bush – featuring qualifiers in 16 regions across the state – and a $100,000 Final held at Doomben during the Winter Racing Carnival
- Country Cups Challenge – featuring qualifiers at 16 Country Cups across the state and a $75,000 Final held at Doomben during the Summer Racing Carnival
Research commissioned by Racing Queensland showed more than 580,000 people attend race meetings in regional areas across Queensland per-annum, with multiple social and economic benefits flowing back into local communities.
The research led to the state government’s decision to announce a $70 million Country Racing Package that will support country racing for four years.
Mr Wilson acknowledged the unique contribution non-TAB thoroughbred racing makes to the state economy each year.
“Events such as the Roma and Birdsville Cups continue to draw record attendances and generate multiple economic and social benefits for their respective communities,” Mr Wilson said.
“These events play a critical role in regional thoroughbred racing’s $444.7 million contribution to the state economy.”