Ascot Racecourse today announced that prize money for 2018 for its 25 racedays (excluding the industry-owned QIPCO British Champions Day) will be a record £13,452,000.
This represents an increase of £1.2 million, 10% up on the 2017 figure of £12,229,000.
Royal Ascot will be worth over £7 million for the first time at £7,305,000 (2017: £6,665,000, +10%) whilst the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) in July is up £100,000 to £1,250,000, the most the race has ever been run for.
No race at Royal Ascot will be run for less than £90,000 (2017: £80,000) and Group One prize money now begins at £500,000 (2017: £400,000).
Executive Contribution to prize money in 2018 is £7,100,000 (2017: £6,500,000, +9%).
Nick Smith, Director of Racing at Ascot Racecourse, said:
“Our total prize money this year is over £13 million for the first time, with Royal Ascot well over £7 million, which are important milestones.
“Royal Ascot prize money has increased 62% since 2012 (£4.5 million), with the annual programme having increased 46% in that period (2012: £9.3 million). This has been important in terms of maintaining the international appeal of Royal Ascot and the King George and in terms of appropriately funding the rapid development of the racing programme in recent years, headlined by the inauguration of the Group One Commonwealth Cup in 2015 and the elevation of the Queen’s Vase to Group Two last year, both with excellent results.
“We are delighted to be beginning the year by running Saturday’s Grade One Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase for £150,000; an increase of £25,000. At our February meeting, the 3-mile Keltbray Swinley Limited Handicap Chase over three miles is up £30,000 to £75,000.”
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, said:
“Under our statutory racing trust, all of Ascot’s returns are invested for the benefit of horsemen, our racegoers and off course followers, both in the UK and internationally.
“In order to continue to attract the best horses to run at Ascot, and with the Royal Meeting a shop window for international investment in British racing, it is important that we offer as competitive prize money as we can, particularly at the high end.
“It is therefore pleasing to be able to announce, through balanced progress, that Ascot is able to offer record prize money alongside our other investments and continuing to reduce our Grandstand debt on schedule.”