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RQ announces prize money boost

Provincial racing in Queensland will receive a boost under a $2.2 million prize money increase announced by Racing Queensland.

RQ chief executive Eliot Forbes said commercial decisions made by the board had led to a better than forecast financial results allowing for the budget increase next year.

“The 2015/16 Annual Report showed that RQ recorded a loss of $21.8 million and the new board and management team were well aware of the challenges to return RQ to a sustainable path,” Forbes said.

“We remain committed to improving performance in all areas of racing and we are now seeing pleasing early results.”

“Improved wagering turnover and changes to the Race Information Fee framework have enhanced revenue and a continued focus on costs will lead to a much-improved financial result for 2016/17.”

Provincial prize money will be increased to $16,000 for all classes excluding maidens at Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich meetings.

An additional Saturday restricted race of $30,000 will be added for all metropolitan Saturday meetings.

The Bernborough Handicap will be increased to $300,000 and the Nudgee Handicap in Brisbane will be worth $125,000.

The current program of country race meetings and prize money levels will be maintained for country and regional racing.

A $160,000 Country Racing Series’ including the three regional series and the inaugural Battle of the Bush with a $100,000 final for country horses on Tatt’s Tiara Day will be held in 2018.

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