THE Ballarat Cup will carry a record $200,000 in stakemoney this year.
Ballarat Turf Club yesterday announced a $50,000 increase for the listed event as part of an expected $1.1m rise in stakes across the board at Dowling Forest next season.
BTC chief executive Lachlan McKenzie said an $893,500 increase was confirmed.
This is Ballarat’s share of an $18 million windfall from the new wagering agreement between the RVL and Tabcorp.
If approved by the Racing Victoria Limited board on Thursday, the proposed Magic Millions racing program for Ballarat will provide an injection of a further $200,000. The BTC is planning to run three Magic Millions races in 2012-13.
These will be headlined by a $200,000 two-year-old event run clockwise on Ballarat Cup Day on Sunday, November 25, and two other $80,000 races in the new year.
Mr McKenzie said with Magic Millions on board, Cup Day would carry $625,000 in stakes.
He said the open sprint would also be worth more, with prizemoney up $10,000 to $70,000.
Mr McKenzie said Cup stakemoney had been increased to ensure the race continued to be the marquee event of the day.
“It’s important to protect the status of hallmark races – especially the Cup.”
He believes offering $200,000 will lead to a better quality Sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup field.
McKenzie said rather than the 2200-metre event being an after-thought at the end of the spring, he was sure trainers would set horses for the Cup as part of their spring campaign.
He said it might also encourage connections of better quality stayers to target the race.
In other BTC stakemoney increases:
• The Gold Nugget in early spring will increase from $50,000 to $60,000.
• new $50,000 feature stayers’ race on April 11.
• new series of 3000m races, with the first on September 13, complement similar events at Moonee Valley and Sandown.
• four races on Wednesdays will be worth $30,000 (country showcase, up from $22,500).
• two races on Thursdays will be worth $30,000.
• two races on Sundays will be worth $30,000.