British Purses Get a Boost
by Mark Popham
Date Posted: 5/21/2008 5:16:21 PM
Last Updated: 5/23/2008 6:14:36 PM
Purse money in British racing will rise on average by 20 % with quality race—listed and group racing--benefiting the most. The increases are expected to begin in the second half of the 2008 season.
The minimum value of listed races goes up by 54% to £40,000 ($78,358), group III rise 38% to £65,000 ($127,332) and group II’s increase by 25% to £100,000 ($195,895).
Group Is will be worth at least £200,000 ($391,790), up 11%. The prize money boost is happening because the Horseracing Betting Levy Board has allocated an extra £6.7 million ($13,124,965) for the second half of this year thanks to buoyant betting turnover.
In addition to the 20 % increase, the Levy Board has approved a £1.5 million ($2,938,425) enhancement fund in response to concerns about the level of support for Flat Pattern and Listed races.
Since 2003 Britain has been overtaken by both Ireland and France for the minimum prize money values for group II, group III and listed races. That is the reason for the big boost to similar British races in the last six months of 2008.
Ruth Quinn, director of racing for the British Horseracing Authority, said: "This significant mid-year increase in the prize money pool is enormously welcome and will bring obvious benefits to all concerned.
"As we know, our sport continues to grow and to become increasingly globalised. Concentrating some additional funds on pattern and listed races will at least bring these particular races back to a level which puts them on a par with countries such as France and Ireland.
"Additionally, if it can help in any way to dissuade owners from selling or exporting promising young horses to jurisdictions like Hong Kong and the USA, then it will be money very well spent.
"We want Great Britain to continue to offer the most compelling racing in the world, and everything we can do to attract horses of the highest quality to run here, we will strive to do."
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