Ascot prize money reaches record high of more than £13 million

Mon 15 Jan 2018
Royal Ascot - Day Three - Ascot Racecourse This year's Gold Cup will be worth £500,000 after a £100,000 increase (PA)

By staff

Prize money at Ascot will top £13 million this year after the track announced a rise of £1.2 million compared to 2017.

The increase equates to 10 per cent over 25 race days, excluding the industry-owned Qipco Champions Day. Total prize money at the track is now £13,452,000 with the five days of Royal Ascot accounting for £7,305,000.

The King's Stand Stakes has seen its value increase by £100,000 to £500,000, as has the St James's Palace Stakes. The Gold Cup, Commonwealth Cup and Coronation Stakes have benefited from similar increases and are also worth £500,000.

The King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in July has been raised in value by £100,000 and is now worth £1,250,000.

Nick Smith, Director of Racing at Ascot Racecourse, said: "Our total prize money this year is over £13 million for the first time, with Royal Ascot well over £7 million, which are important milestones.

"Royal Ascot prize money has increased 62% since 2012 (£4.5 million), with the annual programme having increased 46% in that period (2012: £9.3 million).

"This has been important in terms of maintaining the international appeal of Royal Ascot and the King George and in terms of appropriately funding the rapid development of the racing programme in recent years, headlined by the inauguration of the Group One Commonwealth Cup in 2015 and the elevation of the Queen's Vase to Group Two last year, both with excellent results.

"We are delighted to be beginning the year by running Saturday's Grade One Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase for £150,000; an increase of £25,000. At our February meeting, the 3-mile Keltbray Swinley Limited Handicap Chase over three miles is up £30,000 to £75,000."

Horse Racing - Clarence House Chase Raceday - Ascot Racecourse

Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: "Under our statutory racing trust, all of Ascot's returns are invested for the benefit of horsemen, our racegoers and off course followers, both in the UK and internationally.

"In order to continue to attract the best horses to run at Ascot, and with the Royal Meeting a shop window for international investment in British racing, it is important that we offer as competitive prize money as we can, particularly at the high end.

"It is therefore pleasing to be able to announce, through balanced progress, that Ascot is able to offer record prize money alongside our other investments and continuing to reduce our Grandstand debt on schedule."

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