Prize money at The Jockey Club’s racecourses will return to pre-pandemic levels for the fourth quarter of 2021, British Racing’s largest commercial group announced today.
To achieve this, The Jockey Club will increase its prize money contribution by nearly £1.5 million in the final three months of the year. This will see total prize money at JCR fixtures from October to December boosted from a previous projection of circa £11 million to more than £12.5 million and total prize money for 2021 across its 15 racecourses from more than £44 million to more than £46 million (with all figures subject to abandonments).
The Jockey Club had previously announced total prize money across its fixtures in the second half of the year would be increased to totals within 9% of pre-pandemic levels, but that it would keep the situation under review in case the financial outlook improved further.
Today’s announcement will see increases in prize money values at all levels of the sport. This includes major races across both codes, such as:
- Darley Dewhurst Stakes – advertised as £450,000, now £500,000
- bet365 Fillies Mile – advertised as £450,000, now £500,000
- Together for Racing International Cesarewitch Handicap – advertised as £180,000 now £250,000
- The Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes – advertised as £225,000, now £250,000
- Paddy Power Gold Cup – advertised as £135,000, now £160,000
- Betfair Chase – advertised as £180,000, now £200,000
- Becher Chase – advertised as £120,000, now £150,000
- Unibet International Hurdle – advertised as £100,000, now £140,000
- Caspian Caviar Gold Cup – advertised as £115,000, now £130,000
- Ladbrokes King George VI Chase – advertised as £225,000, now £250,000
- Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle – advertised as £115,000, now £130,000
While spectator limits have now been lifted at UK sports events, a degree of uncertainty remains, including whether any racegoer restrictions associated with ‘lockdown’ will be reintroduced or deter attendees at any point over the next 12 months, which may impact future values.
Nevin Truesdale, Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, said:
“A big priority for us has been to get to a position in our recovery where we can advertise prize money at pre-pandemic levels as quickly as possible.
“When you add 2020 and our 2021 outlook together, the pandemic will have cost us more than £170 million in lost revenues, so originally it seemed we would need to wait until 2022 to have any chance of making this announcement, but I’m delighted and tremendously proud of the team that we’re able to bring this forward.
“We’re optimistic about the future, but despite today’s announcement we are continuing to operate under uncertainty as a business. This includes whether any restrictions on our operations will be reintroduced or deter racegoers at any point in the remainder of 2021 or into 2022. As such we’ll need to keep planning on a relatively short-term basis for the foreseeable future and contribute the maximum we can back into the sport, including all our areas of investment beyond prize money.
“It’s no secret that we view prize money as vital to the livelihoods of those working in the sport, it provides an important return for racehorse owners and encourages the competitive racing that we all want to enjoy. We’re working hard to drive the sort of underlying growth and commercial success that allows The Jockey Club to continue to increase its contributions to British Racing, which has always been, and will continue to be, our aim.”
Reigning Champion Flat trainer, John Gosden, welcomed the news. He said: “This is a very welcome boost to prize money levels, including key races in the autumn programme.”
Paul Nicholls, reigning Champion Jumps trainer, praised the move. He said: “It is fantastic news to see such a significant uplift in prize money and just when the Jumps season steps up a gear. Great credit to The Jockey Club in achieving this after such a difficult 18 months.”
One of the UK’s leading Flat trainers, William Haggas, added: “It’s great news that Jockey Club Racecourses is now in a position to be able to invest further and boost prize money levels. It has been a torrid time for them and racehorse owners, but this is terrific news and I hope it will be sustained and improved in 2022.”
The Jockey Club’s 15 racecourses are: Aintree, Carlisle, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs, Exeter, Haydock Park, Huntingdon, Kempton Park, Market Rasen, Newmarket July Course, Newmarket Rowley Mile, Nottingham, Sandown Park, Warwick and Wincanton.
Notes to Editors
Please note prize money values will be increased on the Racing Admin site in due course and not immediately.
The Betfair Tingle Creek Chase is already being advertised at its £150,000 pre-pandemic level, so is not included in the list of races increased.
About The Jockey Club
One of the largest sports businesses operating in the UK today (pre-pandemic turnover: £216.5 million), The Jockey Club is at the heart of so many aspects of Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport. We run 15 of the UK’s leading racecourses – large and local, where we’re charged with looking after some of the nation’s biggest events, including the Randox Grand National at Aintree, The Cheltenham Festival, The Cazoo Derby Festival at Epsom Downs and the QIPCO Guineas Festival in Newmarket. We welcome thousands of racehorses a year to our training centres in Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom. We run The National Stud in Newmarket and our charity, Racing Welfare, makes help available to all of racing’s people. We are governed by Royal Charter to act for the long-term benefit of British Racing and our Patron is Her Majesty The Queen.
For more information please visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.