Prize money for this year’s G1 Juddmonte International S. at York has been cut to £275,000 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s Group 1 was worth £1 million but with racing currently taking place behind closed doors after a delayed start to the season, the track’s revenue has taken a serious hit, with the venue underlining “80% of prior year annual revenues for York Racecourse flowed from the presence of a gathering, either on a raceday or as part of our extensive non raceday events programme, none of whom have been permitted at the venue since mid-March.”
The track has hailed the contributions from the Horseracing Betting Levy Board (HBLB) and sponsors with the G1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks, G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe and Sky Bet Ebor all set to carry a purse of £250,000 as other feature races. The G2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack, G2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup and G2 Sky Bet City of York S. will have £100,000 purses with the Sky Bet-sponsored G2 Great Voltigeur S. and G2 Lowther S. both offering £75,000. The European Breeders’ Fund will back five races, headlined by the £35,000 Listed Sir Henry Cecil Galtres S., and including two of the three new class two handicaps worth £30,000 that have been added to the race programme.
York kicks off its season on Thursday and chairman, Lord Grimthorpe, said, “We are delighted to be back racing at York, albeit initially behind closed doors. Despite challenging circumstances for all, we have tried to put our best foot forward with an incredibly exciting race programme and an investment in prize money well above industry agreed levels. We are hugely appreciative and grateful for the wonderful support of our sponsors, annual badgeholders, partners and all who make York Racecourse so special.
“While we look forward to the day we can welcome the return of spectators and supporters to York Racecourse, in the meantime I hope that people will follow and enjoy the sport on their televisions and mobile devices.”