Great news today for thoroughbred racing in South Australia, following positive announcements for NSW and VIC late in 2016.
The SA government has announced an injection of $6m into prize money for Thoroughbred Racing SA’s (TRSA) feature racing carnival in May.
“The $6 million funding commitment over two years will see the Darley Goodwood and UBET Classic (registered name Robert Sangster Stakes) – the highlights of the South Australian racing calendar and main features of the Adelaide Racing Carnival at Morphettville – each break through the $1 million prizemoney barrier.” – TRSA
This is a tremendous boost for Adelaide’s two feature races. The UBET Classic for fillies and mares has been a standout race in SA for a few years now, so the $1m in prizemoney is sure to attract even more high quality fillies and mares from around the country – and hopefully more owners, racegoers and punters.
“The SA Derby will rise to $600,000 while 30 races across the Adelaide Racing Carnival and the preceding three weeks at Morphettville receiving a prizemoney boost. This includes 14 non-feature races, with all races over the period now having a $100,000 minimum purse.” – TRSA
This increase of $100,000 to the SA Derby is a fair incentive to attract some better rated three-year-olds into the race, as makes it more of a viable option to test them at this level before a Queensland campaign or in preparation for their four-year-old season. Personally, we at Kinematic are huge fans of three-year-old racing and at distances in excess of a mile. So this added support of a 2400m feature is welcome news for “progressive” three-year-olds looking to step up to higher class.
We shouldn’t automatically assume the race quality will jump up suddenly. But as 2015’s edition showed (Delicacy, Werther, Magicool, Allergic, Manapine, Lucques etc), the SA Derby should be rated retrospectively.
It is particularly pleasing to see the prize money for 14 non-feature races also rising to a minimum of $100,000. Sandwiched between the Sydney and Brisbane carnivals, this is just the boost SA needs to reinvigorate the quality of racing and the national attraction to their carnival. Now we just need the Cup moved to May!
Having developed my love of racing on the Adelaide scene (including at Victoria Park and Cheltenham), it will be nice to one day see further developments to increase turnover and attendance, and in turn prizemoney at all levels in SA throughout the year. It requires more leadership and smart, alternative thinking. Today’s announcement is great, but long overdue and needs to become self-sustaining – quickly.
Regardless, well done to the SA Government and TRSA and we look forward to visiting for their May carnival again this year.