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$7m Melbourne Cup, $5m Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup headline Racing Victoria


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MELBOURNE’S spring carnival strengthened its position as the pinnacle of Australian racing by lifting the prizemoney of its “Big Three” to more than $17 million on Friday.

Racing Victoria’s three cornerstone events — the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup — have been given a 40 per cent boost as part of a $12.4 million prizemoney injection across the state.

RV chief executive Giles Thompson said the increases would ensure Victoria remains a destination for the world’s best horses.

“Arguably we have the best racing carnival on the planet and it’s been a while since the three anchor races have had an increase,” Thompson said on Friday.

The Lexus Melbourne Cup received a $1 million prizemoney boost to $7.3 million, making it the world’s richest 3200m handicap and eighth richest race in the world.

The Stella Artois Caulfield Cup received an extra $2 million, taking it to $5 million.

It is the world’s richest 2400m handicap.

The Ladbrokes Cox Plate also went from $3 million to $5 million and it’s now the world’s richest Group 1 weight-for-age race over 2000m with its first increase since 2002.

For the past three years Winx has collected $1.8 million for winning the Cox Plate. If she can record a historic fourth win in the race, she’ll collect $3 million.

Thompson scoffed at the notion that these increases were a response to Sydney’s fledgling sprint The Everest, which will be worth $13 million this year.

“This has nothing to do with getting one back on NSW. The prizemoney increases are not related to The Everest which is a particular and successful race which people buy slots and over half the prizemoney comes from.”

“Our prizemoney target is about tactical and strategical investment and it goes right down to the grassroots.”

“We’ve invested across our industry in a very different way doesn’t mean it’s a better way but it’s a different way.”

Thompson said Victoria would allocate $228.5 million in prizemoney and bonuses on offer which was the most in Australia and races would be worth a nation high average of $52,000,

Thompson though said there was something in it for all owners, trainers and jockeys within these prizemoney increases which stretch from the Melbourne Cup to the Burrumbeet Cup.

He said they had allocated $1.2 million to be spread across the state’s 67 country cups.

The VRC also announced that they would now pay down to 12th in the Melbourne Cup after the cut off point had been 10th. Moonee Valley will now pay down to 10th in the Cox Plate after previously paying down to eighth.

Runners who finish from sixth to 12th will receive $150,000 in stakemoney.

The VRC Derby also received a prizemoney boost for the first time since 2004 with a stakes increase of $50,000 to $2 million.

The Moonee Valley Cup will go from $300,000 to $500,000 and The Inglis Banner for two-year-olds will also rise from $250,000 to $500,000.

RV also increased minimum prizemoney by 20 per cent for non-TAB meetings from $10,000 to $12,000; 25 per cent for Tier 2 meetings which will go to $15,000 and Benchmark 58s go up 11 per cent to $20,000.

Moonee Valley Racing Club chairman Don Casboult said timing for a prizemoney increase was right as the club moved towards 2020 and the 100th running of the Cox Plate.

“The Cox Plate honour roll features the greatest horses we have seen race in Australia over the past 97 years,” Casboult said.

“As we move towards the 100th running of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate in 2020, the club has been committed to securing this uplift to prizemoney to ensure we continue to attract the best horses from Australia and overseas.”

In announcing the changes to the Melbourne Cup, VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said: “The Lexus Melbourne Cup draws competitors from around the world. Winning the great race is on every owner, breeder, trainer and jockey’s bucket list, both locally and globally. This year the ‘holy grail’ not only offers more prizemoney to the winner, but it is now awarding prizemoney all the way down to 12th.”

MELBOURNE CUP
2017 $6.3 million

$2018 $7.3 million

COX PLATE
2017 $3 million

2018 $5 million

CAULFIELD CUP
2017 $3 million

2018 $5 million

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

VICTORIA DERBY — $1.5 million to $2 million

MOONEE VALLEY GOLD CUP — $300,000 to $500,000

INGLIS BANNER — $250,000 to $500,000

— $1.2 million to be spread across the 67 country Cups

— non-TAB meetings up 20 per cent to $12,000 a race

— Tier 2 meetings up 25 per cent to $15,000 a race

— Benchmark 58 races up 11 per cent to $20,000 a race

TOP INTERNATIONAL RACES BY PRIZEMONEY

Pegasus World Cup 1800m $15,870,000
Dubai World Cup 2000m $13,200,000
The Everest 1200m $13,000,000
Breeders’ Cup Classic 2000m $7,930,000
Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe 2400m $7,930,000
Japan Cup 2400m $7,706,000
Arima Kinen 2500m $7,706,000
Melbourne Cup 3200m $7,300,000
Dubai Turf 1800m $6,600,000
Dubai Sheema Classic 2410m $6,600,000
Breeders’ Cup Turf 2400m $5,290,000
Japan Derby 2400m $5,137,000
Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2040m $5,000,000
Caulfield Cup 2400m $5,000,000

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