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New Zealand Prize-Money Increases
The new Board of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing released details of “the new structure of prize-money from 1 March 2012, following support from the Racing Board, Harness Racing NZ & Greyhound Racing NZ for a 4-year funding model & calendar for the racing industry”. Thoroughbred prize-money “will increase from 1 March 2012, in both aggregate & average terms, with further increases in prize-money projected from 1 August 2012”. NZTR chairman Matthew Goodson commented: “NZTR is realigning its racing operations to maximise racing & wagering revenues. We have looked in detail at our meeting structures, optimal times of the day that racing should be conducted, where racing is conducted, consistency of racing product, a meeting-by-meeting evaluation, our handicapping system, our rating system & optimising field sizes including enhancing opportunities for fillies & mares.” From 1 March 2012, minimum prize-money at all categories of meetings, regardless of time of year (Summer/Winter) or location (North/South) will be consistent. Previously thoroughbred racing has operated separate prize-money structures for the same category of races across the regions & the seasons, and 2-tier handicapping for the North & South Islands.
- All Premier meetings will be a minimum of NZ$40K for all Open races, NZ$30K for R85 races, NZ$25K for R75 races & a minimum of NZ$20K for all other races (up from NZ$15K in the North Island & NZ$10K in the South Island). On average, there will be one premier meeting per week, with a skew towards the summer season, providing a strong incentive to retain and race better class horses in New Zealand.
- Prizemoney at all Feature meetings will be a minimum of NZ$25K for all Open races, NZ$15K for R85 & R75 races and NZ$12.5K for all other races (up from NZ$10K).
- All Listed race minimum stakes will increase from NZ$45K to NZ$50K from 1 March 2012.
- A new category of ‘Tier Two' Feature meetings, run generally on days other than Saturdays, to provide Feature level opportunities and at times when there is already a Feature or Premier meeting, will replace a number of Central Region and some Northern Feature meetings. Prizemoney for these meetings will be a minimum of NZ$15K for all Open races, NZ$12K for R85 races, NZ$10K for R75 races and NZ$8K for all other races except Maiden races at NZ$7K (up from NZ$5K in the North Island and NZ$6K in the South Island).
- All races on Industry days will be run for a minimum of NZ$7K. Current minimum prize-money is NZ$5K in the Northern and Central regions and NZ$6K in the South Island.
- The new race meeting structure will see at least 7 thoroughbred meetings on 5-6 days per week. The major change will be the addition of meetings on Mondays & Tuesdays. The current lack of Australasian racing on Mondays provides a window of opportunity for high quality coverage which will particularly enhance the appeal of NZ racing to an international audience.
- Each week will incorporate a Monday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday pattern of meetings and, for six months of the year, the addition of Tuesdays during September to November and March to May. Racing will be programmed on Sundays from December to February, and there will be at least 2 Saturday meetings per week.