Queensland provincial racing will be the biggest beneficiary from the immediate injection of $18 million for prize money from the state government.
The government and stake holders reached an agreement last week after a united racing industry withheld its services from the Doomben meeting coinciding with the Cox Plate fixture in Melbourne.
The industry was protesting the government’s allocation of fund from the new Point Of Consumption tax, none of which was originally earmarked for increased prize money for racing.
This has now changed with the promise of $26 million, the first $18 million of which will start to be paid from Thursday.
Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell said the ruling body had worked to allocate the money in a manner to promote the viability of grassroots racing by paying fifth to 10th at all TAB races with a sliding structure of $1000 – $300 dependent on meeting status.
“Non-metropolitan (provincial) racing will be the major beneficiary, with $12.3 million allocated to provincial and country racing,” Parnell said.
South east Queensland meetings at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich will benefit from an increase of $6.9 million, while the remaining $5.4 million will go to provincial meetings at Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.
“The focus on unplaced stakes from fifth to 10th aims to defray costs for participants, while improving cash flows for trainers and, for the owners who subsidise the industry,” Parnell said.
The majority of the remaining $5.7 million will be allocated to paying runners placed sixth to 10th at mid-week and Saturday metropolitan races while all Listed races will be raised to a minimum of $125,000.
“By allocating funds in this manner RQ aims to drive improved field sizes, especially at provincial TAB meetings which have been under pressure for the past two years,” Parnell said.
RQ chairman Steve Wilson said his organisation and representatives from harness and greyhound racing were in continued discussions with the state government about enduring funding for the viability and competitiveness of their codes.
WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO
* Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich
Standard races $16,000 to $21,000. Maidens $15,000 to $21,000. Prize money for fifth. $400 for sixth to 10th
* Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns
All races Toowoomba $14,000 to $19,000
Introduction of $19,000 races at weekly Northern Provincial Showcase meetings
Remaining provincial stakes raised from $14,000 to $16,500. Prize money for fifth. $400 sixth to 10th
* Country – Kilcoy, Beaudesert, Warwick, Lockyer (Gatton), Dalby and Roma $12,000 to $14,500
* Key northern Cups and Toowoomba Cup $150,000
* Midweek metropolitan meetings: standard races $25,000 to $30,000. Maidens $20,000 to $25,000
* Saturday metropolitan: standard races $70,000 to $75,000