The Queensland harness racing industry will be on the receiving end of a 16 per cent prizemoney boost from October 1 this year as part of a funding windfall for the state's three racing codes.
Addressing an industry briefing at Deagon this week, Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board Chairman Kevin Dixon said Racing Queensland had delivered on its commitment to improve the returns for participants of all codes in the wake of the new wagering deal.
“This is a monumental occasion for the Queensland racing industry.
We have now provided an opportunity for every participant in the state to increase their returns through significant increases to prize money allocations in all codes,” Mr Dixon said.
“For years, the Queensland racing industry has been lobbying for more prizemoney and we have delivered that today in a way that ensures each code and region benefits from the increases.
“Based on the increases coming into effect on October 1, overall prizemoney year on year will increase by 50 per cent for greyhounds, 20 per cent for thoroughbreds and 16 per cent for harness racing.
“These improvements were devised with a new allocation strategy, which determines prizemoney based on each code’s individual revenue less the costs they incur.
This means when one code is performing well, they will directly benefit from their success and not be impacted by other codes.”
The key improvements from October 1, 2014 are:
- Non-performing Monday meetings have been removed form the schedule and those races have been absorbed by other meetings, and will receive a prizemoney increase of 50% from $2,000 to $3,000.
- Prizemoney offered at Saturday Metro meetings increases by 19 per cent, highlighted by CMO races increasing 50% to $12,000, and 2nd Division Q0/Q1/Q2 increasing 33% to $8000.
- Similarly, prize money at Tuesday Metro will increase by 27.5 per cent and Friday Metro by 39%
- Increase to provincial prizemoney at Redcliffe on Wednesday nights by 52 per cent with a number of races now worth $5000.
Mr Dixon said the new wagering deal with Tatts Bet had paved the way for the prizemoney increases, which would only be amplified by the recent improvements to QTIS and soon-to-be announced improvements to the other breeding schemes.
“Once the wagering deal was finalised, we were able to look at the big picture and determine where we could invest and expend that money to give our participants the best possible return on their investment,” Mr Dixon said.
“The best part of the new deal is, though, that if the racing industry pulls together and performs, increases like these will continue to flow in the future.
“Prizemoney was the obvious and most sought after improvement, and now we will work closely with our stakeholder groups to ensure future allocations of funding continue to address the needs of the industry.”
Minister for Racing Steve Dickson said the increases to prizemoney marked a major milestone in the Government’s commitment to reinvigorate the racing industry in Queensland.
“Prizemoney increases in all three codes across the state have always been the goal and today we have seen just how bright the future is for our participants,” Mr Dickson said.
The new prizemoney structure has been achieved because of the terrific wagering deal recently secured with Tatts, and builds on the success of the first phase of our infrastructure strategy, and the stabilisation of the administrative part of the organisation.
“The reinvigoration of the industry is well underway and we will continue to work with Racing Queensland and industry participants to ensure it continues.”