Prizemoney boost to provide instant relief
RACING Queensland has confirmed an injection of $18 million in prizemoney increases which are set to be introduced from Friday's Ipswich meeting.
The distribution, the bulk of which will be used to pay down to 10th place, comes from the deal struck with government last Friday, with the remaining $8 million from that deal to come in six months.
"This prizemoney boost will address one of the biggest challenges facing racing in Queensland - its ongoing viability, long-term sustainability and competitiveness with other racing jurisdictions across Australia," Racing Queensland chairman Steve Wilson said.
Races at TAB meetings throughout Queensland will now pay prizemoney from fifth to 10th place, with a sliding structure of $1000 down to $300 depending on the meeting status.
The effect means Saturday metropolitan prizemoney increases from $70,000 to $75,000 (the $40,000 races go to $45,000), midweek metros increase from $25,000 to $30,000, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich from $16,000 to $21,000 (including maidens), and other provincial venues going from $14,000 to $19,000.
Country TAB stakes at venues including Kilcoy, Beaudesert, Warwick, Gatton, Dalby and Roma will rise from $12,000 to $14,500.
"The focus on unplaced stakes from fifth to 10th aims to defray costs for participants, while improving cash flows for trainers and, for the owners who subsidise the industry," RQ chief executive Brendan Parnell said.
"By allocating funds in this manner, RQ aims to drive improved field sizes, especially at provincial TAB meetings which have been under pressure for the past two years."
Other changes include increasing key Northern Cups and the Toowoomba Cup to $150,000, and for Listed races to carry a minimum of $125,000 in prizemoney.
Wilson said RQ and industry representatives from the harness and greyhound codes were in continued discussions about enduring funding for the viability and competitiveness of their codes.