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updated: 12/24/2012 5:55 AM

Prize money at top U.K. tracks climbs to $66 million

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  • Prize money at Britain's biggest racecourses, such as Aintree and Epsom Downs, will jump 15 percent to 40.4 million pounds ($66 million) next year, the Jockey Club said.

      Prize money at Britain's biggest racecourses, such as Aintree and Epsom Downs, will jump 15 percent to 40.4 million pounds ($66 million) next year, the Jockey Club said.
    File photp

  • This photo released by Benoit Photo shows Black Rock Thoroughbreds' Violence and Javier Castellano, right, winning the Grade I $750,000 CashCall Futurity Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at Betfair Hollywood Park, Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Benoit Photo)

      This photo released by Benoit Photo shows Black Rock Thoroughbreds' Violence and Javier Castellano, right, winning the Grade I $750,000 CashCall Futurity Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at Betfair Hollywood Park, Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Benoit Photo)

 
By Danielle Rossingh

Prize money at Britain's biggest racecourses, such as Aintree and Epsom Downs, will jump 15 percent to 40.4 million pounds ($66 million) next year, the Jockey Club said.

"We're being more commercially successful, driving our profits and so we were able to put more back into prize money," Jockey Club Group Chief Executive Officer Simon Bazalgette said in an interview. Prize money in 2013 is also set to rise because of a higher horseracing betting levy from bookmakers, he added.

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The Jockey Club, which manages and operates 15 racecourses including Cheltenham and Newmarket's Rowley Mile and July courses, will contribute a record 18.6 million pounds to the prize money pot, compared with 16.8 million pounds in 2012.

Funding from the betting levy -- the annual fee on the profits of bookmakers from bets on British horseracing -- will contribute 15.1 million pounds, up from 11.7 million. The rest is made up of owners' entry fees for races, the Jockey Club said.

Prize money will be spread across 361 fixtures. Average prize money per fixture will rise 6.3 percent to 110,000 pounds.

The group will announce its 2012 financial results in April.

Cheltenham Boost

Cheltenham Racecourse, home to the annual jump-racing festival in March, will boost prize money by about 12 percent to a record 6.12 million pounds, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The payout on Gold Cup day, its showcase event, is set to exceed 1 million pounds for the first time next year, it said.

"I am delighted that we are able to reward further the investment made by owners in horses that compete at the pinnacle of jump racing," said Simon Claisse, regional head of racing and clerk of the course at Cheltenham. "Increased prize money is also a significant boost for the jockeys, the trainers and the stable staff involved with horses that run at Cheltenham."

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