£3 Million Plus Prize Money Boost at The Jockey Club Racecourses

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A horse gallops at Epsom Downs, site of the Cazoo Derby Festival | The Jockey Club

A prize money boost of over £3 million at The Jockey Club racecourses for the remainder of 2021 was announced on Tuesday.

This purse increase brings prize money to within 9% of pre-pandemic levels. Total prize money will exceed £42 million this year at all levels of the sport for the 15 racecourses operated by The Jockey Club. This amount is prior to additional funding from the industry's Appearance Money Scheme (AMS). These prize money increases are effective immediately, with the Cazoo Derby Festival gaining £65,000 and a £135,000 boost to Coral-Eclipse Day.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Jockey Club distributed only £30.5 million in prize money and racing was halted from mid-March until June. As The Jockey Club generates nearly 50% of its revenues from spectators and another 10% by staging conferences and similar types of events and neither of these were possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Jockey Club sustained an overall loss of £90 million. This trend continues into 2021. Pre-covid, The Jockey Club managed to increase its contribution to prize money by over 103% in the last decade to £26.4 million.

“One of our imperatives since the start of the pandemic has been to keep prize money values under constant review,” said The Jockey Club Chief Executive Nevin Truesdale. “The financial impact of coronavirus has been very significant indeed and it will take some time yet to recover. However, with some positive indicators around funding and with spectators starting to return, albeit in heavily restricted numbers at this point, we wanted to move quickly to announce this prize money increase.

“The biggest issue aside from losing so much of our revenue has been the constant uncertainty. If you could guarantee after the second lockdown that things would return permanently to normal, we would have been able to plan investments accordingly, but here we are well over a year into the pandemic and we are only just starting to welcome some racegoers back. Therefore, we continue to have to play the situation as it comes and ensure we would remain solvent if another lockdown occurred.

“I'd like to thank participants for the huge amount of patience they've shown and reassure them that The Jockey Club always treats prize money as an absolute priority, as I hope our track record and this announcement leaves no doubt about. We aim to get our prize money contributions fully back to pre-pandemic levels as soon as we realistically can.”

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