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York Racecourse Announced £100,000 Boost to Prize Money

York Racecourse

3:35pm 14th July 2014

York Racecourse has announced a further boost of over £100,000 to the previously announced investment in prize money which represents a £250,000 increase in prize money on last year for the north’s flagship racing festival.  Record prize money of £3.5m at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival includes prize money to at least sixth place for all 25 races for the first time and no contest is worth less than £40,000.

Tattersalls, who have sponsored the Musidora on the opening day of the Dante Festival for 29 years, have extended their support to now include the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes on the opening day of the Ebor Festival.  The prize fund for this classy seven furlong juvenile contest is set for a significant boost to £80,000 (an increase of £20,000), making it the richest Group 3 for juveniles in Britain.

Prize money of £80,000 will also now be on offer to contenders in the Group Three Betfred Strensall and Betfred Melrose Stakes, both of which will be run on Saturday 23 August, Betfred Ebor day itself.

Seven races through the four day meeting have had a 33% boost to purses of £10,000 - taking their prize funds to £40,000.  This includes the SkyBet Convivial Maiden, which is by far the richest race of its type in Britain.

These latest improvements cement what is the third consecutive year of growth in prize money in the Ebor Festival with prize money now over 25% more than in 2011 and the Festival is a clear second only to Royal Ascot in terms of both prize money and strength and depth of the race programme.

Confirming the investments announced in January; the richest race ever staged at York will be the Group One Juddmonte International, the showpiece of the opening day of the Ebor Festival on Wednesday 20 August, when the top middle distance horses in the world will compete for a record £800,000 (up by £50,000) and the chance to join a roll of honour that includes previous number one rated racehorses in the world, Frankel (2012) and Sea the Stars (2009).

On every day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival the feature contest will receive a boost, as the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Thursday), Coolmore Nunthorpe (Friday) and Betfred Ebor (Saturday) all benefit from the track’s policy of working with long-standing sponsors to raise the rewards for runners on the Knavesmire.

The race to receive the joint biggest boost will be the SkyBet City of York Stakes.  This highly regarded Listed contest will double its prize money to £100,000 – making it the seventeenth race at York with a six figure prize fund.  Previous winners of this seven furlong contest include subsequent Group 1 winner Gordon Lord Byron and Yorkshire dynamo, Quito.  It will also move within the Festival programme to become a further highlight of Friday 22 August. 

A further Listed race to receive a boost as well as a poignant name change is the Galtres which will be called The EBF and Sir Henry Cecil Memorial Galtres Stakes; benefiting from both the ongoing backing of the European Breeders’ Fund and support from members of the family of the much missed champion trainer.  This one mile four furlong race for fillies, now offering £60,000, will be part of the course’s tribute to the legendary late master of Warren Place who sent out Eva Luna (1996), Upend (1988) and Startino (1986) to win this race.

Commenting on the announcement, Philip Freedman, Chairman of the Horsemen’s Group representing racehorse owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and breeders said: “York deserves enormous credit for its continued and increasing investment in the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, and it is no coincidence that nowadays the meeting invariably features as part of the programme of the sport’s equine champions. This news of an extra £100,000 being added to prize money and the fact it means that total returns at this year’s Festival will increase by £250,000 since last year speaks volumes for York’s commitment to attracting the very best horses. We particularly welcome the fact that over the four days no race will be run for less than £40,000, which means that the increasing returns on offer will be shared across all those who are successful during the course of, what is sure to be, an extremely competitive and successful meeting.’

Speaking about the latest round of prize money increases, William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, said, “I am delighted that York has once again demonstrated its commitment to invest in prize money and so develop the race programme on the Knavesmire.  I am pleased that in this prize fund boost we have been able to make a material investment to increase all races to at least £40,000 and extend prize money to sixth place, so rewarding more owners and horsemen for bringing their fabulous horses to race at York.  The aim remains to attract the very best horses to York and to stage competitive, compelling racing action. 

“As with all our investments, they are only possible because of the commercial success of the track across both our racing and non-racing businesses.  This commercial success is a result of a hard-working team at York and the unstinting support of the horsemen, owners, sponsors, boxholders, racegoers and visitors who make York Racecourse a very special venue. 

“As voiced by York and others in the recent BHA Fixture Consultation process, it is vital investments such as these are recognised within the structure of the sport to incentivise and reward positive performance to help all of racing to grow and prosper.

“This investment, coupled with continuing investment in facilities at York aimed at further improving the experience for horses, horsemen and racegoers, makes for a very exciting Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.”

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