Ascot Racecourse today confirms prize money for Royal Ascot, 16th to 20th June 2020, at £3,680,000.
All eight Group One races will be run for £250,000 with no race at the newly formatted 36 race meeting (30 in regular years) run for less than £35,000.
With no early closing races operating this year, all races will close at the six-day stage and entry fees will be as normal, beginning at 1.25% for Group One races.
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, said:
“2020 was set to be a landmark year for Royal Ascot prize money. However, these unprecedented times have intervened. We have sought to respond by producing an enhanced programme of racing this year to maximise opportunities to participate and which in its own way will deliver an exciting and memorable Royal Meeting.
“Some 70% of our annual income comes from public admissions, including hospitality, and producing in excess of three and a half million pounds in prize money in the current circumstances would not have been possible without the support and commitment of our wonderful Official Partners QIPCO and Longines, for which we are all deeply grateful and express our sincere thanks on behalf of everyone involved.”
British racing resumes today, Monday 1 June, in line with the UK Government’s approval for the return of sport behind closed doors.
The BHA recently published the BHA’s COVID-19 guidelines and operating procedures for everyone attending race meetings from 1 June until further notice. These measures are to safeguard everyone’s health and wellbeing during the current and continuing COVID-19 situation, to ensure that racing can resume in a safe and appropriate manner.
These will be reviewed regularly and revised – and where possible, relaxed – in line with evolving government guidance.
The Great British Bonus (GBB) is being launched today, offering multiple bonuses of up to £20,000 per eligible race for British-bred fillies and mares. Its aim is to increase the number of British-bred horses in racing and, so, safeguard the future of British breeding.
GBB is for breeders, owners and winning connections of British-bred Flat and Jump fillies and mares who race successfully in Britain, and replaces the NH MOPS and Plus10 schemes.
Devised and implemented by The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA), GBB is regarded as a self-help initiative that demonstrates the breeding sector’s commitment at this critical time, when racing and breeding are facing up to financial concerns raised by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It aims to ensure that more British-bred fillies and mares are sought as racehorses, while encouraging breeders to race fillies and owners to retain them. This will support the economics of Thoroughbred production and selection for breeding on the basis of proven racing ability at all levels.
TBA chairman Julian Richmond-Watson said: “A scheme underpinning all pillars of the industry is the best way to support Thoroughbred breeding operations in Britain, and when key participants benefit, those funds are more likely to be reinvested into the British racing industry.
“GBB evolved from the latest economic impact studies commissioned by the TBA, and, after extensive collaboration across the industry, it will focus on assisting key areas of the race programme and horse population that can shape the future diversity of the breed.”
Richmond-Watson added: “We are pleased to be able to deliver bonuses this year, with the number of races rising to approximately 3,000 in 2022. Breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and pin-hookers can all benefit from the scheme, which supports the long-term sustainability of our industry.
“We are extremely grateful to all those who have helped deliver this initiative, most notably the Levy Board and steering groups, which have worked tirelessly on this project.”
Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer at the British Horseracing Authority, commented: “The importance of a vibrant and robust British Thoroughbred breeding industry for the future of our sport cannot be overstated. Now, more than ever, action is required to support our breeders, and the introduction of the Great British Bonus is a key part of this, offering a significant financial incentive for racehorse owners to invest in British-bred fillies. As well as boosting demand at the sales, the scheme should encourage more fillies to be tried on the racecourse. This important and necessary initiative is sure to have a positive influence in the years ahead.”
On the Flat, two-year-old fillies already paid up for Plus10 will be registered automatically to GBB, giving them the chance to win more than double the current bonus, as well as multiple prizes. There will be more than 160 eligible races in 2020.
Over jumps, all NH MOPS-registered fillies and mares will be transferred immediately to the enhanced GBB scheme. More than 1,150 eligible races will be run this year.
For further details, including information on registrations, go to greatbritishbonus.co.uk or contact the scheme manager, Grant Pritchard-Gordon, on 07785 277438.
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