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While Victoria’s three showpiece spring races highlight significant prize money increases, country racing has also received a boost.

Representatives from Racing Victoria, the Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne Racing Club, Moonee Valley Racing Club and Country Racing Victoria were on hand on Friday for announcements of prize money increases at various levels for next season.

While the Melbourne Cup will rise to $7.3 million, up $1 million, and the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate have had $2 million increases to $5 million, country Cups and grassroots racing will also receive a boost.

An additional $1.2 million will be spread across the 67 country Cups in Victoria.

Minimum standard country maidens have gone up to $23,000, premium country maidens to $26,000 while midweek metropolitan maidens will be worth $30,000.

Minimum prize money for non-TAB meetings will go to $12,000, while SKY2 country meetings will have minimum prize money of $15,000 per race and benchmark-58 races $20,000.

“Country racing plays a crucial role in the success of Victorian racing and it’s important that it remains strong and vibrant to showcase our sport in communities right across the state,” CRV chief executive Scott Whiteman said.

“We’re delighted to announce today that every Country Cup, from our high-profile cups during the Spring Racing Carnival to our once-a-year picnic cups, will get a prize money increase next season and over the coming weeks we’ll be working with each club and Racing Victoria to finalise the details of their funding increase.

Whiteman also welcomed the increases for the non-TAB and SKY2 meetings and benchmark-58 races.

“They are important to maintain and hopefully grow participation,” he said.

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