There has been much debate about South Australian prizemoney across the racing industry in recent months, and there’s no doubt that Racing SA has lagged well behind the other primary mainland racing jurisdictions over the last few years.
While NSW has of course led the charge with The Championships, the Everest and the Golden Eagle among many other changes and profile boosts to their races, and Victoria has raced to try and combat or catch-up, Queensland and Western Australia have also increased prizemoney of their best races.
South Australian racing has been left well behind, with smaller purses and a carnival that is getting lost in autumn when footy season is all the rage.
But on Monday, Racing SA delivered significant prizemoney increases across a range of race types with the following release:
Metropolitan Tier 1 races will increase from $55,000 to $65,000 while Metro Tier 2 races also jump $10,000 to $55,000 with Tier 3 Metro races to increase from $41,000 to $50,000.
Provincial races will increase from $22,000 to between $23,000 (Outer Provincial) and $25,000 (Inner Provincial) per race across the state while Country Races will be lifted from $17,000 to $19,500 and Country Cups will see a lift of $8000 to $40,000.
Non-TAB races, including Cups, will increase by $2,000 across the board.
“Our focus when structuring this injection into prizemoney was to ensure the increase was sustainable and that a broad cross section of races, from Non-TAB country meets through to Tier 1 Metro races were able to receive an uplift and we feel that this has been achieved.” Rob Rorrison, Chair of SA Racing said.
Black type racing will also receive a boost with the Group 1 Sangster Stakes and Goodwood increasing to $600,000 and the Group 2 Adelaide Cup rising from $300,000 to $350,000.
All other Group 2 races will jump from $202,250 to $250,000 next season, Group 3’s will race for a minimum of $150,000 (from $127,250) while Listed races will race for a minimum of $120,000 up from $107,250.
The prizemoney increase will come into effect from Saturday July 15, coinciding with the Morphettville meeting.
The participants, connections, and passionate fans of South Australian racing have been yearning for a change in fortunes, and have finally been delivered one.
Trainers, jockeys and owners will all be better off, regardless of how much ability any one particular horse may or may not have. From the classy Saturday galloper all the way down to the horses that run around at the picnics, if they are good enough to get prizemoney, everyone’s a winner.
Many of those at the more humble end of the racing industry in NSW have savaged Peter V’landys for forever adding millions to his pop-up races while letting grassroots decay. Racing SA have decided to shore up the lower levels of the industry, and are to be applauded.
The next step is for the SA Government to inject money into the top-end, and get the Sangster and Goodwood up to $1,000,000 so they are more attractive to the top end of sprinters. And it would be great to see them increase the Adelaide Cup even further, and work with Racing NSW and Racing Victoria to link the Melbourne Cup and Sydney Cup into it too.
It is vital for the future of the sport in this country that each state has a strong and healthy racing scene, and South Australia are a key part of that. Hopefully, this week’s annoucement shows they are on the way back.