Ascot Racecourse will offer record prizemoney of £15.64-million across its flat and jumps programmes in 2022, up nearly £2-million (14.4%) on 2019, the last year that planned prizemoney was distributed before the pandemic. These figures exclude the industry partnership QIPCO British Champions Day.
Royal Ascot on June 14 to 18 will offer £8,652,500, up 18% on 2019. Royal Ascot Tuesday will be the meeting's first-ever card to reach £2-million in prizemoney, and the G1 Prince of Wales's S. and the G1 Platinum Jubilee S. (formerly the Diamond Jubilee S.) will be the meeting's first races contested for £1-million. The minimum purse at Royal Ascot will be £100,000.
Outside of Royal Ascot, the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco S. will return to its pre-pandemic value of £1.25-million. The minimum purse for flat races will be £15,000, and the Shergar Cup will be worth a record £550,000 as it goes from six races to eight, with 12 runners in each, up from 10. An additional £25,000 in stable prizes will be offered on King George day and at the Shergar Cup.
Guy Henderson, chief executive officer at Ascot Racecourse, said, “We are pleased to be able to announce a return to our pre-pandemic prize money plans as we re-build. Whilst these plans have been unavoidably delayed, today is about looking forward. It is vital we maintain the quality of the British Pattern and the top end programme generally. For obvious reasons, a large proportion of the increases announced today are focused on our 35 races at the Royal Meeting.
“Prize money is racing's equivalent of remunerating the players on the pitch. We need to offer the best we can in order to attract the best and help maintain international investment in British racing. Our next ambition, as we build Ascot as a global brand wrapped around world-class racing, is to be able to offer at least £1-million for each of our nine Group 1 races in the coming years.
“Field sizes for races of both codes are under pressure. With this in mind, we have applied a number of targeted increases across our programme and raised our minimum prize money levels for both codes. Specifically, we have made some changes to QIPCO King George Diamond Weekend and expanded the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup to eight races with fields of 12; the established races increase from £60,000 to £75,000 and we have added two new £50,000 races. Our aim is for the stable prizes to incentivise owners and trainers to target these two fixtures and build on the successful trial at this year's Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
“I wish to conclude by thanking Ascot's staff, our customers and commercial partners for all their loyal support in 2021 which has so significantly contributed to the business being able to advance again in 2022.”