Prize money for metropolitan races in Queensland will rise by $10,000 to $70,000 in most Saturday-class races under a new scheme announced by the state government.
It is part of a $12 million a year injection of prize money across the three codes with thoroughbred racing to get $8.6 million, greyhounds $3 million and harness racing $400,000.
The prize money upgrades, which will start on February 1, mean seven races currently worth $60,000 at Saturday metropolitan meetings will be worth $70,000.
There will be two $40,000 restricted class races on each day.
The increases have been possible after the Labor government honoured a promise to inject $70 million into funding country racing in Queensland which freed up money from Racing Queensland for prize money elsewhere.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe said the additional prize money was a massive win for Queensland racing industry participants across all three codes.
“Racing Queensland’s extended prize money package is exactly what the racing industry has been crying out for,” Hinchcliffe said.
“It means an extra $12 million will be pumped directly into the industry each year across the thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing codes.”
Provincial races at the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Ipswich would also receive increases.
“Regional provincial clubs will have standard stakes boosted by $2,000 per race and northern feature carnivals will be increased by a total of $527,000 to be spread across carnivals from Rockhampton to Cairns,” Hinchcliffe said.
“Overall the additional money represents a 16.6 per cent increase to metropolitan premier stake races while regional TAB races will see a 16 to 20 per cent increase from their current stakes.”
RQ chief executive Eliot Forbes said the announcement came at the right time for Queensland racing with the Magic Millions Sales beginning.
“Today’s prize money announcement is another step forward in delivering on Racing Queensland’s commercial plan to boost confidence and continue to bring meaningful benefits to industry participants,” he said.