The Jockey Club has announced a record £4.2m increase in prize money contributions in 2018, with Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR) also set to commit £27.1m to prize money from its own resources, at all levels of the sport and subject to abandonments.
Total race values spread across its 15 strong racecourse portfolio is set to exceed £53m, another record, and representing an £8m rise year on year.
Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “This is The Jockey Club’s largest ever commitment to horsemen and we really hope that will also translate into good news for racing fans alike.
“I’m very proud of our people who have worked hard to achieve the commercial results we need to be able to offer this. Because we already put all of our money back into the sport, we can only increase our prize money contribution if we create the commercial returns to do so.
“Some people might think that our prize money is all about the highest race classes or at one or two racecourses, but these figures demonstrate another step forward in our commitment to supporting British Racing at all levels.”
The Jockey Club has also announced record race values of £153,000 per fixture across its 348 offering for next year, a 15% year on year increase on 2017s £133,000.
Philip Freedman, Chairman of The Horsemen’s Group, which represents racehorse owners, trainers, stable staff, breeders and jockeys, said: “Horsemen are obviously delighted by the increase in The Jockey Club’s prize money contribution for 2018.
“The minimum guarantees at every fixture, and at enhanced levels on Sundays, should ensure that these fixtures are attractive not only to owners, but also to race goers and the betting public, to the benefit of all those whose livelihoods depend on the health of the sport.”
The Jockey club has broken down its headline figures, explaining what the record numbers will offer:
- Every JCR fixture will offer at least £40,000 in total race values.
- Every Sunday fixture run at JCR will offer at least £65,000 in total race values.
- Every JCR fixture will include at least one race worth £10,000 or more, while 83% of the group’s fixtures will have at least two per fixture, up from 58% in 2017.
- Every JCR ‘small course’ will have at least one fixture previously worth c£55,000 boosted to £80,000 or more from 2018, meaning that every JCR small course will stage at least four fixtures worth £80,000 or more next year (2017: 22 JCR small course fixtures worth £80,000 or more; 2018: 91% increase to 42 JCR small course fixtures at that value).
- Despite the significant reduction of the industry’s Divided Race Fund, Jockey Club Racecourses will continue to invest to divide all races that reach the required number of declarations and are eligible to divide, creating a second and equal prize money opportunity and helping to reduce eliminations.