Prize money at Royal Ascot this year has been increased by £1million meaning a record £6,580,000 will be on offer over the five days.
For the first time, there will be at least £1m up for grabs every day of the meeting that runs from June 14 to 18 – and none of the 30 races will be run for less than £80,000 compared to £60,000 in 2015.
With an overall increase of 18 per cent on last year, among the Group One races to benefit are the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (up to £750,000 from £525,000), the Queen Anne Stakes (£600,000 from £375,000) and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (£600,000 from £525,000). Ascot has also unveiled plans for a new purpose-built unsaddling enclosure that will be in operation in time for the 2016 Flat season.
The £700,000 project is designed to accommodate the number of horses that run in races like the Wokingham and Royal Hunt Cup more comfortably and thereby improve equine welfare. Ascot chief executive Guy Henderson said: “We are very pleased to be able to announce what is cumulatively a £1.7m additional investment in racing activities.
“In making £1m more prize money available at Royal Ascot, over and above last year’s total prize fund, we are acting to remain as competitive as we can both at home and overseas.
“It is very important to make sure that we keep increasing the minimum threshold for race values at the Royal meeting and, equally, we need to keep developing our international showpiece events to continue to attract runners from all over the world.
“In 2015, we had 72 European runners from outside the UK and 20 runners came from outside Europe, travelling a total of around 100,000 miles each way between them. The new unsaddling area recognises that the old area needed improvement. This will provide a much better end to races for connections.”