Major Boost To Prize-Money At Chelmsford City 

The stakes have been raised at Chelmsford City Racecourse |

Chelmsford City Racecourse will offer significantly increased prize-money for its 2022 programme, including two £100,000 races and increases across the board for lower-grade handicaps.

The Listed Queen Charlotte S., which was first run in 2018 with a prize fund of £75,000, has been boosted to £100,000. The same six-figure pot is on offer for the Cardinal S., which features as the last leg on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby, earning points towards the American Classic for the winner and placed horses.

The Listed Chelmer Fillies' S. has also received an increase in funding and is up from £60,000 to £80,000, while Chelmsford's card on Good Friday features £112,000 in prize-money across seven races, including a £30,000 Class 2 handicap.

From February, the total prize fund for handicaps will be as follows:

  • Class 2 £25,000
  • Class 3 £15,000
  • Class 4 £13,000
  • Class 5 £10,000
  • Class 6 £7,300

The boost in purses means that Class 6 handicaps will carry at least £1,000 more per race than those run at tracks owned by Arena Racing Company (ARC) or Jockey Club Racecourses. As a comparison, Class 4 and 5 handicaps at ARC courses are currently run at £9,850 and £7,100. The increases announced by the independently-owned Chelmsford City represent an average upturn in executive contributions of 80% on figures for 2021.

Chelmsford City's director of racing Neil Graham said, “It has long been our desire to improve the quality of racing on offer here at Chelmsford, as well as ensuring decent returns for the owners, trainers and jockeys who support our racecourse week in and week out.

“The Queen Charlotte is one of two Listed races that we are proud to stage at the track, and we are thrilled to be offering a very valuable pot for that this year. The same goes for the Cardinal Stakes, which is clearly not just an important stepping stone for connections, who may have their sights set on Churchill Downs, but also offers a great trial opportunity for our Classics closer to home–and with a huge prize on offer. We look forward to welcoming entries for both races, as well as for our regular cards throughout the year.”

Newmarket-based Charlie Fellowes won the inaugural running on the Queen Charlotte Stakes with Carolinae (GB) (Makfi {GB}) and has been one of a number of British trainers to have been vocal in his concern for declining prize-money in Britain.  

He said: “Chelmsford have always made it very clear that decent prize-money is something they prioritise highly and on the all-weather especially they have very much led the way. We were lucky enough to win the Queen Charlotte on what was then the richest evening meeting in Britain. At a time when competition globally is becoming ever more fierce and Britain is getting left behind, it's encouraging to see Chelmsford really doing their bit in trying to make the situation as sustainable and competitive as possible on the domestic front.”

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