Edited press release
Britain's Ascot Racecourse announced Jan. 6 that prize money for the 2009 royal race meeting June 16-20 has been increased by £450,000 to £4,450,000.
According to the announcement from Ascot, the purse for the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) is increased £75,000 to £450,000 and the King’s Stand Stakes (Eng-I) has been increased in value by £50,000 to £300,000. Both races are part of the "Global Sprint Challenge." The Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-I) also had its purse increased by £75,000 to £450,000 in 2009.
In addition to the King’s Stand Stakes, £50,000 has been added to the Queen Anne Stakes, the St James’s Palace Stakes, the Gold Cup and the Coronation Stakes, all of which are group I races and which will all be run for £300,000 in 2009.
Charles Barnett, chief executive at Ascot, said, “2008 was an excellent year for Ascot, with record crowds on several occasions including the Saturday of Royal Ascot, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and the Saturday of the BGC Christmas meeting. We also received the Racehorse Owners Association Gold Standard Award and finished the year hearing the news that Ascot was voted runner up Racecourse of the Year by the Racegoers Club, which was particularly gratifying. We’re fully aware, of course, of the current economic climate, but today’s announcement enables us to start 2009 on a positive note."
Nick Smith, Head of Communications and International Racing at Ascot, added: “We will soon be starting our international promotional campaign in earnest with some interesting possible targets, particularly in Australia and Japan, including Japan’s latest star, Daiwa Scarlet, winner of last month’s mile-and-a-half Group One Arima Kinen, the most important race of the year there.
“We will be hoping to attract the Australian sprinters again, including Apache Cat, who was third in the Hong Kong Sprint in December. With the organising committee’s intention always to increase incentives for owners and trainers of the world’s top horses to travel, the US$1,000,000 Global Sprint Challenge bonus pool can now be won by winning any three qualifying group I Challenge legs in any three different countries (from Australia, UK, Japan and Hong Kong), the important difference in 2009 being that there is no necessity to run in all four countries.
“With legs to be run in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong after Royal Ascot and the Darley July Cup, we hope that European trainers might consider campaigning internationally within the challenge too. For the first time this year, the bonus prize pool will be split US$ 750,000 to the owner of the bonus-winning horse, and US$ 250,000 to the trainer.”