Newbury Racecourse has today announced a record £7 million prize money budget for 2024, which represents a 13% like-for-like increase on 2023.
The rise in prize money has come about as a direct result of the increased media income Newbury anticipates earning from the move to Sky. The executive contribution on offer will also increase to a record £3.5m, which is a 14% increase on 2023 following a 26% year-on-year rise from 2022.
This increased prize money will be offered across the 31 fixtures staged at the Berkshire track in 2024, 11 of which qualify as one of the newly introduced BHA Premier fixtures.
The inaugural Premier fixture, Betfair Super Saturday, taking place on Saturday 10th February will be the first to benefit from the increased prize money on offer. Both the Grade 2 Betfair Denman Chase and Grade 2 Betfair Game Spirit Chase will be run for a total prize fund of £85,000, a £15,000 increase on 2023.
The second Premier fixture on Saturday 2nd March will see the BetVictor Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase have a total of £100,000 prize money on offer, compared to £60,000 in 2023.
Other notable increases throughout Newbury’s National Hunt calendar include:
- The Grade 2 Coral John Francome Novices’ Chase which sees a further £25,000 on offer to £75,000.
- The Mandarin Chase run on Coral Challow Hurdle Day, won in 2023 by trainer Toby Lawes with Surrey Quest, has more than doubled in prize money, with a total prize fund of £75,000, up from £30,650 in 2023.
- The sole Grade 1 of the season at Newbury, the Coral Challow Hurdle also benefits from an additional £15,000 in prize money with the 2024 renewal set to be run for a total prize fund of £100,000.
Throughout the summer Flat turf season, several of Newbury’s flat fixtures have received a further boost:
- The feature race of the Flat fixture list, the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, will this year be run for £400,000.
- The Listed Carnarvon Stakes, on the Lockinge Stakes undercard, sees an additional £15,000 in the total prize fund with WorldPool once again continuing their support of Al Shaqab Lockinge Day.
- Further Group races to receive prize money increases include the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes, won last year by Arrest in what was Frankie Dettori’s last winner at the track, will have £90,000 on offer in 2024.
- The feature race of the BetVictor Hungerford Day card, the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes has a total prize fund of £125,000.
- The Dubai Duty Free International Weekend sees both the Group 3 Dubai International World Trophy and Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes receive prize money boosts of £15,000 and £10,000 respectively, to £85,000 and £100,000.
The prize money increases are distributed across the whole schedule with all Class 5 handicaps in Flat core fixtures guaranteed to be run for a minimum of £11,000, up from £8,650 in 2023.
Julian Thick, Chief Executive of Newbury Racecourse, said:
“We have today announced further prize money increases for the 2024 season with additional investment across both our Premier and Core fixtures taking Newbury to a record £7M in total prizemoney for the year.
“We have been able to make two successive years of significant advances in our prizemoney mainly due to our new media arrangements with Sky Sports Racing and our board are pleased to be able to do so at a time when the industry really needs such an investment.
“It is well known there are significant headwinds facing racecourses and further prizemoney increases in years to come will be very much dependant on Newbury being able to navigate these and create increased commercial returns through other trading activities such as growing attendances, that can then be shared with our industry partners.
“Once again, my thanks must go to all our sponsors for their continued support and we very much look forward to the season ahead and welcoming horses, connections and racegoers back to Newbury to enjoy top class racing action.”
Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the Racehorse Owners Association, said:
“It is welcome news to see Newbury Racecourse increasing its prize money by 13% in 2024. Equally important is that the investment is being made across all of the 31 fixtures, not just the 11 Premier fixtures, as it is critical to ensure owners of horses running at Newbury across all classes are rewarded with increased returns.”