Canberra Racing Prize Money Boost — Including Black Opal Stakes

 Prize money for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Canberra Black Opal Stakes will be increased from $275,000 to $300,000.

Canberra Racing Club Chairman, Dr. Chris Ward says the increase is to ensure the status and significance of Canberra’s signature race is maintained.

And he says the overall prize money on Black Opal Stakes day will increase to $898,000 — up from $847,000.

Dr. Ward has also announced other prize money increases and some rescheduling of races for the 2016/2017 financial year.

From 1 July 2016 overall prize money will increase by $358,000 per annum with prize money for standard race meetings alternating between $18,000 and $20,000 and per race meeting.

In a standard month, the Canberra Racing Club conducts two race meetings.

Dr. Ward says generally the first meeting of the month will be programmed at $18,000 per race and the second race meeting of the month at $20,000 per race for standard race meetings.

To assist owners with travel and starting costs the prize money breakup will include a minimum payment of $200 for horses that finish from 5th to 10th place in any race.

“Prize money is the lifeblood of thoroughbred racing and it is important that race horse owners have the opportunity to recoup the significant cost of purchasing, maintaining and training their horses,” Dr. Ward says.

“The cost for upkeep and training of a race horse in Canberra is approximately $23,000 per annum.

“The new prize money structure will allow owners to recoup that cost with one win and a number of placings, and will make racing and training horses at Canberra very attractive to owners.”

“Thoroughbred Park is now one of Australia’s leading and most cost-effective training centres.

“There are currently 258 race horses trained at Thoroughbred Park in Canberra under the care of 27 individual trainers.

“Canberra-trained horses are competing successfully in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane against the best Group class horses of Australia.”

 The Canberra Racing Club has also announce that —

• The 15 July race meeting will be conducted on the Course Proper.

• The Club is confident that the refurbishment of the Acton Track synthetic surface will be completed in time to allow the 29 July race meeting to be conducted on the Acton Track.

• Race meetings in August will be programmed on the Acton Track.

• The race meeting of 9 September will be run on the Acton Track to allow the Course Proper to recover from a renovation and winter climate conditions.

• 8 races will be programmed on Melbourne Cup race day to capitalise on this popular race day by transferring one race from Sunday 13 November — on which day 6 races will be run.