Prize Money Tops £3.5 Million For The First Time
Prize Money for Royal Ascot, Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th June, has been increased by 12.5% in 2006, bringing the total on offer over the five days to £3,665,000 from £3,255,000.
Across the board increases totalling £85,000 have been made to 11 races to ensure that no race at the Royal Meeting is run for less than £55,000.
Additions to the Golden Jubilee Stakes (£350,000 from £250,000) and the King's Stand Stakes (£200,000 from £140,000) were announced in December and further highlights within the £410,000 total increase revealed today include:
* £70,000 added to the King Edward VII Stakes, now worth £200,000.
"It is important for racing to return to the newly redeveloped Ascot with significant increases in prize money for our flagship meeting," said Douglas Erskine-Crum, Chief Executive at Ascot.
"Two of the largest increases, cumulatively an additional £160,000 to the all-aged sprints, are important as, along with the Prince of Wales's Stakes, they are the key Royal Ascot races which we are promoting around the world.
"However, it is equally important to continue to make all the races at the Royal Meeting as attractive as possible to domestic and European owners and trainers so we have added money to 11 races to ensure £55,000 is the minimum on offer across the 30 race programme as befits Europe's premier flat race meeting.
"We have also put £25,000 on both the St James's Palace Stakes and the Coronation Stakes and increased the King Edward VII Stakes by £70,000 to £200,000 with the aim of increasing its profile and appeal within what is a particularly congested category at that time of year.
"The Norfolk Stakes is up £10,000 to £70,000 to reflect its promotion to Group Two status and we have also increased the value of the Coventry Stakes by £10,000 to £80,000 so that it retains its stature as Royal Ascot's premier two-year-old race."
The only change to the order of running from 2005 is that the Windsor
Castle Stakes and the Chesham Stakes switch places, with the former now
run on Tuesday and the latter on Saturday, so reverting to the format
at Ascot in 2004.
Due to the realignment of the course and implementation of the new Stereline Stalls, there are some minor reductions in maximum field sizes: 6f (28 from 30); 7f (29 from 30); 1m Straight (30 from 32); 1m Round (28 from 30); 10f (16 from 18); 1½m (19 from 20); 2m 6f (30 from 32). The remaining safety limits remain unchanged. The Queen Alexandra Stakes, formerly 2m about 6f, is now 2m about 5f 159y and the Queen's Vase is reduced by 45y to about 2m.
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