WARRNAMBOOL Racing Club will offer more than $3.5 million in stakemoney for its 20 race meetings next season — more than $150,000 up on this season.
The hike comes after Racing Victoria opted to switch some of Warrnambool’s race meetings to Thursdays instead of the lower-paying Monday and Tuesday fixtures.
The club has been allocated three extra Thursday meetings, taking its total to eight for the 2013-2014 season which starts on August 1. One of those meetings is at the expense of Ballarat, which will be closed for infrastructure works between November 25 and May 11 next year.
Warrnambool will host four Sunday meetings, up from three this season.
WRC chief executive John Green said Thursday meetings were great stakemoney days for owners and trainers compared to Mondays or Tuesdays.
“With three extra Thursday meetings and the Sunday meeting we will be offering over $150,000 more in stakemoney for owners and trainers in the new racing season,” Green said.
“We’re grateful that Racing Victoria has granted us more Thursday meetings and another Sunday meeting. With the extra stakemoney we’ll get a better class of horse at our meetings.
“Racing Victoria has just changed our allocation of dates around a bit. A few years back the majority of our race dates fell earlier in the week which are not big stakemoney days.
“With the change to Thursdays the showcase races carry stakemoney of $30,000 which is top money for country races compared to the $15,000 on offer for Tuesdays.” Racing Victoria racing operation manager Paul Bloodworth said some of Warrnambool’s race dates had been tweaked from this season.
“Warrnambool was originally going to race on Tuesday, January 28, but with Ballarat out of action we moved Warrnambool to Thursday, January 30,” Bloodworth said.
“We moved one or two other meetings around so Warrnambool got those extra Thursday meetings.
“There is no promise that Warrnambool will get the same dates in the 2014-2015 season, as we review the dates each year and we’ll have Ballarat and Moe back in use for that season.”
Following a request from Terang its cup meeting moves from October to Sunday, April 13, 2014 — the date previously held for the Hamilton Cup.
The Hamilton Cup will be held in October for the second year.