The start of the new racing season coincides with the return of prize money to it’s pre-COVID-19 levels in Victoria.
Prize money was slashed in April to safeguard the Victorian racing industry against the looming health and economic crisis.
Races conducted in the metropolitan area suffered a 20 per cent cut while races in the country took a 10 per cent hit.
Reductions to the Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonus schemes were also announced at that time.
Last month Racing Victoria made the decision to restore minimum prize money levels after studying the industry’s financial health, its performance throughout the pandemic and the importance of prize money to jobs and investment in Victorian racing.
RV chief executive Giles Thompson said that the restoration of prize money commencing on Saturday was important for maintaining ongoing participation in Victorian racing.
“Whilst we remain in the grip of the pandemic and its impact will continue to be felt for some time, we recognise that prize money is the lifeblood of our industry and it is fundamental to ongoing investment and jobs in Victorian racing that we maximise it in a responsible manner,” Thompson said.
“There are 110,000 people employed or participating in Victorian racing, many of them in regional communities.
“Restoring minimum prize money levels not only benefits everyone in our industry, there is a flow on of investment into many associated businesses also.”