RECORD prizemoney will be announced today for this year’s May Racing Carnival in a move to take the famous three-day event to a new level.
Warrnambool Racing Club is lifting the total prizepool and incentives to $1.58 million, almost 12 per cent up on last year.
This year’s carnival will carry an extra $117,500 in cash and $51,000 in Victorian Owners and Breeders Incentives Scheme bonuses.
Among the new initiatives for the carnival is a $70,500 two-year-old fillies’ race over 1000 metres on the opening day. The race will also carry an extra $30,000 VOBIS Gold bonus sweetener for connections.
In a big step, the feature sprint race, the Wangoom Handicap (1200m) gets a $25,000 rise. The race dubbed the ‘Newmarket of the bush’ will carry $151,000 prizemoney, making it the equal richest listed sprint race in the state.
Stakemoney for a three-year-old race over 1400 metres on the second day has jumped from $30,000 to $50,000 while VOBIS bonuses have lifted from $9000 to $30,000 for the race.
The club’s chief executive officer John Green told The Standard the extra stakemoney would raise the event’s profile and stature even further.
“The club is confident with the prizemoney lifts we will be able to attract top horses from leading trainers to the carnival,” he said.
“We are offering amazing levels of prizemoney for the carnival in a bid to take the event to another level.
“We’ve already had indications that leading Sydney trainers Gai Waterhouse and Chris Waller will have runners.
“We think with the extra prizemoney we’ll be able to attract most of the top Melbourne trainers plus the local trainers to have runners at the carnival.”
Stakemoney for the famous Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase remains at $250,000 while the Warrnambool Cup stays at $200,000 and the Galleywood Hurdle and the Brierly Steeplechase remain at $100,000 each.
Green said the Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses were important parts of the carnival.
“Owners and trainers who have horses eligible for Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses are big winners at the carnival,” he said.
“The club is delighted with the support we have received regarding the bonus scheme and from Racing Victoria helping lift our stakemoney.
“The club has put in some money to ensure the stakemoney levels are at an all-time high for the three days.”
Green added details regarding a trainers’ bonus of a Mercedes-Benz car for the carnival were still be finalised.
“We’re in discussions with Steven Callaghan (Callaghan Motors) about the type of Mercedes car which will be up for grabs for the trainer that can win four races over the carnival including one of the feature races,” he said.