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Prize Money Rises

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    Horse Racing Ireland today announced that a new record level of prize money will be achieved next year, with the overall fund (excluding point-to-points) expected to rise from a forecast €55.1 million this year to €58.6 million in 2007.

    HRI’s contribution towards this new record sum will be €33.1 million. This figure represents a €1.6 million increase on the 2006 budgeted figure, which will not be fully expended due to a greater than anticipated contribution from owners, arising from the high levels of supplementary entries in Group 1 races this year.  

    A significant proportion of this overall increase in prize money (€1.4 million) will go towards the funding of 14 additional fixtures next year, 2 on the turf and 12 on the new all weather facility at Dundalk. Additionally, the value of the Goffs sales races will increase by €800k, while prize money allowances have been also made for anticipated improvements to the flat and national hunt black type programmes.

    In agreeing its overall prize money allocation for 2007, the HRI Board also approved the base values shown on the attached page for the various race categories. As many races will be sponsored, they will therefore carry prize money significantly higher than the base values.

    The key upwards adjustments within these base values are:

    1.                  Increase to National Hunt Grade 1 races

    The Board approved an increase in the minimum value for National Hunt Grade 1 races from €65k to €100k (inclusive of sponsorship contribution). The Board recognised that it should target extra resources at the Pattern races where enhanced prize money was most required to maintain or improve their quality.

    2.                  Increases to Flat Premier Handicaps

    The Board approved the creation of a number of more valuable and higher profile Flat Premier Handicaps and supported the option of creating three different categories with respective base values of €100k, €75k and €50k. In total, there will now be 10 Premier Handicaps (up from 6) with a value of at least €100,000, with the ambition to progressively increase this number in future years, working with both the racecourses and their sponsors.

    The Handicaps which will be included in each category are identified below:

    Ø      In the first €100k category, there will be 4 races – the Tote Galway Mile which will increase in value from €150k to €160k, and the Rockingham, Cambridgeshire and September Handicaps, which will all increase in value from €100k to €120k.

    Ø      In the second €75k category, there will be 8 races – the Lincoln, Guineas Festival, Ulster Derby, Waterford Crystal, Scurry, Guinness (last three on Derby Day), Galway and Cesarewitch Handicaps.

    Ø      In the third category there will be a further 13 Premier Handicaps, all with a base value of €50k (up from €47.5k).

    3.                  Re-Classification of National Hunt Racecourses

    The Board agreed that Gowran Park, Naas and Navan should be re-classified as Grade 1 racecourses for National Hunt prize money purposes (their Flat categorisation as Grade 2 does not change). This reflects the fact that all three courses stage top class National Hunt racing, predominantly during the winter months.

    4.                  Increase Absolute Minimum Value from €8,000 to €8,500

    The Board approved an increase of €500 in the absolute base value for races from its current level of €8,000 up to €8,500. At present, the gross prize money won by the winning owner in the lowest value Irish races comes to roughly €5,600, and the Board felt that it would be beneficial to raise this figure closer to the €6,000 mark.

    Announcing the prize money budget and the new base values for 2007, HRI Director of Racing Jason Morris commented: “HRI is committed to offering prize money which bears the most favourable international comparison.  HRI intends to ensure that all horses are rewarded broadly in accordance with their ability throughout their careers. There is a particular emphasis on improving the prize money for the highest quality Grade 1 National Hunt races and for the top Flat Handicaps, which will hopefully lead to even more top class horses being campaigned in Ireland in the futureâ€ÂÂ

    • Total Posts 141

    It’s good to see the top NH races being identified as needing a boost because the bonus schemes in the UK linked to the Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle are putting them under threat. I can imagine that some of them will get a further increase next year.

    • Total Posts 36

          Hello I am French and would like to know if , in Ireland , there is only one betting agency as in France (PMU) or there are several bookmakers like in England. In France , thanks to PMU who deals 6% of the turnover to the racing institution , prize money will be increased of 5% in 2007.

        Bookmakers are not very generous with the racing institution.They give only 1.6% of their turnover.England are very lucky to have passionate and rich owners.English people are crazy of betting , too.If bookmakers came in France , it would be a real disaster. The bookmakers killed racing in Belgium and Germany for example.In harness racing in Germany , many trainers are obliged to race their horses abroad in Sweden or in Italy.

      Cheers from France<br>

    • Total Posts 2937

    In contrast Dan prize money seems to be in terminal decline here in Britain with a massive drop of around 13.4% next year and many races being run for less than £2000 in win prize money. Lots of races were worth more years ago than they are now even without inflation. If only we could get rid of the bookmakers, we’ve a great product but sadly pathetic prize money.<br>

    (Edited by yeats at 4:06 pm on Dec. 21, 2006)

    • Total Posts 302

    i often wonder why more of our national hunt horses, irish and british, don’t run more often in France as the prize money is so good.

    Take mid dancer for example, 5yo and 16 races have seen him win nearly £500’000. I know its difficult to compare, with the oppurtunites afforded 3 and 4yos in france, but if you will we have monets garden over here who is 8yo, 2 and 1/2 lengths better (over Carlisles fences anyway) with 15 races under his belt and only £170’000 prize money. Over simplified i know but surely this shows there’s many a valuable oppurtunity over there.

    • Total Posts 36

            British Irish hurdles and fences are  different than French ones.So the training and racing are not exactly the same . I know that Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé, trainer of Mulryan’s horses ,has some hurdles and fences like there are in British Isles to train his horses which may run over there.

        I don’t think there are a lot of British trainers who has hurdles and fences like you will see at Auteuil.

        I think British owners are so crazy of Cheltenham that they are not really interesting in French racing except a few like Sean Mulryan , the Irish Mullins or now sir Ogden.

      And I repeat myself: British owners are very , very , very rich.

    • Total Posts 141

    Enda Bolger seems to live only for the cross country races at Cheltenham and Punchestown. He could consider having a go at some of the many such races in France with some of his horses.

    • Total Posts 3901

    The same could be said of English owners/trainers towards Ireland. Time and again in Ireland we have had small field Graded races which would be perfect for the top English trained horses to try their hand.

    Running scared I reckon…..:biggrin:

    • Total Posts 1708

    Francis Doumen has a lot of English owners I suppose to take advantage of the better prize money over there.

    • Total Posts 151

    Quote: from Aidan on 1:07 pm on Dec. 20, 2006[br]At present, the gross prize money won by the winning owner in the lowest value Irish races comes to roughly €5,600, and the Board felt that it would be beneficial to raise this figure closer to the €6,000 mark.

    <br>At least they get some back. What seems to go unhighlighted in all these fanfares about prize-money in Ireland is that most of it is funded by the owners in the first place. With maiden hurdles and low-grade handicaps receiving up to 200 entries that’s a lot of excess money being generated when the cost of entry is 0.9% of the value of a race which is already funded by HRI and often by a sponsor. <br>[br]Yes owners pay no entry fee if they declare to run and are balloted out. Yet, what % of owners’ money is ‘lost’ by trainer’s failing to declare because they know they are going to be balloted out? This happens quite a lot. It’s a strange situation when an owner has to sign over responsiblity for his financial business to a trainer who then may neglect his duties for lack of pecuniary motivation on his side. To think, they were originally ‘hired help’; when did the balance of status and power swing? ;)

    • Total Posts 36

    Quote: from trackside528 on 11:46 pm on Dec. 20, 2006[br]Dan’s right in the sense that, for most (if not all) top-class British horses, France is merely an afterthought (as is anything else that’s not at cheltenham in march for that matter).. sure, they’ll go if its conveniant, but i wouldn’t exactly say its high on the priority list..

    And in case Dan didn’t make himself clear enough, British owners are very, very, very…. you guessed it, rich :biggrin:

    (Edited by trackside528 at 10:46 pm on Dec. 20, 2006)<br>

                 Do you know how many French horses British owners have bought last years????  I don’t know a lot of French owners who refuse to sell their horses when they see the British coming in France with their big wallet.Or else French owners are too poor to keep theirs.

              Kauto Star could have become a great chaser in France if his owner had decided to keep him.But British people are British people . A lot passion and a lot of money.

    • Total Posts 302

    Cut me in half and inside it says BRITISH like a piece of Blackpool rock.

    A lot passion and a lot of money.

    However if i showed my wife this and told her it applied to me you’d still see her laughing come boxing day 2007!!

    • Total Posts 36

    Quote: from roland on 11:12 pm on Dec. 21, 2006[br]Cut me in half and inside it says BRITISH like a piece of Blackpool rock.

    A lot passion and a lot of money.

    However if i showed my wife this and told her it applied to me you’d still see her laughing come boxing day 2007!!

            Could you explain me what do you mean by a piece of Blackpool rock?

    • Total Posts 4812

    year races avg med
    2000 7448 6115 3348
    2001 7155 6350 3541
    2002 7732 6875 3935
    2003 8053 7307 4046
    2004 8590 7264 4124
    2005 8609 7116 4040
    2006 8961 7123 3886
    2007 5571 6822 3253

    Above is the winning prizemoney both average and median for all UK races over the past 7 years. The median figure is a more realible general figure as it gives more creedance to every day bread and butter racing which is in the vast majority in the UK. Its a significant decline and I havent even taken inflation into account. The 2007 figure so far is below year 2000 levels!

    Interestingly horses in training have increased from 15989 in 2000 to 19151 in 2006 a 19.7% increase which goes hand in hand with the 20% increase in fixtures over the same period. That increse keeps the average field size at 10.5 runners per race over the period. So really the race planners are just accomodating the increased racehorse population.

    What is clear is that prizemoney is now below year 2000 levels, training costs have increased, I’d imagine that median sales prices have increased and yet there have never been more horses in training. The black and white economics of racehorse ownership simply dont add up.

    So what is the attraction of ownership…..? In my opinion simply and starkly the betting exchanges and the "oportunities" they present owners these days. Its the only "economic reason" to get involved isnt it?

    Perhaps the Big 3 need the exchanges more than they realise….

    • Total Posts 3420

    I think that ownership has simply increased because the economy as a whole has been booming and there is simply more spare cash for what is essentially an expensive hobby and a nice day out

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