South Australia's Momentum Grows: HRSA Announce Prizemoney Increase
In the first of what will be four announcements this week, Harness Racing South Australia (HRSA) is excited to unveil a new prizemoney model which will see an increase to stakes across all segments.
Saturday night prizemoney (not including feature races and heats into finals events) will be as follows based on an eight race program: 1 x $9,999, 5 x $6,999, 2 x $4,500. With HRSA having incrementally increased prizemoney since October last year, this will see a total annual uplift to Saturday night prizemoney of almost $550,000 annually.
Monday (or equivalent) prizemoney will be as follows based on an eight race program: 4 x $4,500, 4 x $3,000 (rating exempt). Including the incremental change introduced from last October, this will see an annual uplift to Monday prizemoney of almost $450,000.
Next week commencing Monday July 3 will see the first week of these increases taking full effect.
Combined, this will inject almost one million dollars per season in additional funds to these race meetings, of which a portion has already been delivered.
The Saturday $9,999 races will rotate through each class to ensure that all horses competing on a Saturday will have an opportunity to compete at this level. This is in addition to the heats into finals races in which finals have recently been run between $9,000 and $12,000. Furthermore, increasing the number of Saturday night races to the next brackets above $4,500 is a significant step forward for SA.
The Monday model will see a reduction of $3,000 races and an increased commitment to the $4,000 events to $4,500. Not only does this create obvious financial benefits, but it will also allow the $3,000 rating exempt concept to maximise its benefits by condensing the allocation to programs.
Port Pirie and Mount Gambier are currently the two regional centres that have seasonal racing in addition to their Cup meetings. Their seasons are set to commence in October and November respectively, with discussions in place around a model that will reward all that compete at these venues. An announcement will be made in due course.
Feature race prizemoney will be addressed this week within another segment, with advancements in some areas.
HRSA Chair Carlo D’Ortenzio welcomes such a positive announcement “The Board recognises the need to continue advancing prizemoney levels into South Australian harness racing. Much hard work has gone into being able to deliver these outcomes for participants, owners, and all stakeholders. With a number of advancements on the horizon, the growth that these changes have the ability to bring are exciting for all involved.”
Likewise, CEO of HRSA Dean Elliott is enthused by the news “This is a tremendously positive announcement for the local industry, and one that can only be achieved with a team effort mindset. Growth, primarily in three areas has allowed for these changes, being 1) POC tax increase which is thanks to the SA government and the industry’s combined lobbying efforts, 2) a stability/increase in SA harness market share, thanks to programming and scheduling changes which participants and stakeholders are to thank for their cooperation with HRSA on, and 3) collaboration with our wagering providers, which speaks for itself. We required all three to succeed here, which is very satisfying.”
Stay tuned for further announcements this week.