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Racing Vic set to review prize money

Racing Victoria will undertake a review of prize money levels following their NSW counterparts increasing stakes for races across the state.

Metropolitan races in Sydney were increased to $100,000 from October 1 while races on the provincial and country circuits were also increased.

Participants, including owners, trainers and jockeys, in Victoria have been calling for a prize money increase which they hope will stop a potential loss of horses to be trained and raced across the border in NSW.

“I don’t think it has to be an arms race,” outgoing RV chief executive officer Bernard Saundry said on Thursday.

“It’s fair to say the pressure is on from participants but we’re not going to rush it.

“The Board will kick off a review of prize money on December 15 and it is expected to take up to three months to complete.”

Saundry pointed out prize money in Victoria had increased 25 per cent from 2012.

He also noted revenue had been put into infrastructure and facilities at Victoria’s racecourses.

Saundry said Victoria was an attractive place to race a horse with 450 race meetings conducted within two hours of Melbourne.

“We’re proud of our field sizes and there’s a number of projects we need to do ahead of prizemoney increases,” Saundry said.

“There are $10 million worth of infrastructure projects across the states 64 tracks.”

Saundry said total turnover from approved wagering operators on Victorian racing had increased five per cent from July 1 through until November 20 which met RV’s forecasts.

Wagering on Victorian racing continues to grow with corporate bookmakers which now account for more than 40 per cent of total wagering while pari-mutuel has been steadily declining.

Saundry leaves the top job at RV at year’s end with his replacement yet to be announced.

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