Horses running at Ascot this year will be competing for a record prize-money fund of almost £13.5-million. This figure, which excludes the industry-owned QIPCO British Champions Day, represents an increase of £1.2-million, 10% up on the 2017 figure of £12.2-million. The track’s headline festival Royal Ascot will this year benefit from a prize-money pool of over £7-million while the G1 QIPCO King George VI & Queen Elizabeth S. will be worth an all time high of £1.25-million. The minimum race value at the Royal meeting in June will be up £10,000 to £90,000 while the benchmark for Group 1 races that week will be £500,000, up from £400,000 in 2017.
Commenting on the increase, Nick Smith, director of racing at Ascot Racecourse said, “Our total prize-money this year is over £13-million for the first time, with Royal Ascot well over £7-million, which are important milestones. Royal Ascot prize money has increased 62% since 2012 [£4.5-million], with the annual programme having increased 46% in that period. This has been important in terms of maintaining the international appeal of Royal Ascot and the King George and in terms of appropriately funding the rapid development of the racing programme in recent years, headlined by the inauguration of the Group One Commonwealth Cup in 2015 and the elevation of the Queen’s Vase to Group Two last year, both with excellent results.”
Guy Henderson, Ascot’s chief executive added, “Under our statutory racing trust, all of Ascot’s returns are invested for the benefit of horsemen, our race-goers and off course followers, both in the UK and internationally. In order to continue to attract the best horses to run at Ascot, and with the Royal Meeting a shop window for international investment in British racing, it is important that we offer as competitive prize money as we can, particularly at the high end.”