THE prize money pool for Phumelela racing regions in 2012 has regained the 2010 level after dipping by some R11 million last year.
The prize money pool is funded from various sources as per an agreement between Phumelela and the Racing Association (RA), which represents the interests of owners in all Phumelela regions.
TAB betting pools on horseracing and soccer are far and away the biggest contributors to the stakes pool. For 2012 the contribution from TAB to the stakes pot comprises R86 million from betting on South African races, R31 million from international races and R9 million from soccer.
That’s a total of R117.4 million – 77% of the R164 million in the stakes pool for 2012.
The total money available for stakes in 2011 was R153 million, which was some R11 million less than in 2010. To avoid cutting stakes across the board in 2011, Phumelela, the Racing Association and the Racing Trust introduced several initiatives including reducing stakes of races on turf from May to August on the Highveld, when the calibre of racing is significantly weaker than the rest of the year.
Prize money in all Phumelela regions will remain unchanged in 2012 barring certain exceptions:
* The two-tier stake system on the Highveld is being scrapped and prize money will be the same throughout the year.
* The gross stake of Maiden Plates on the Highveld will rise R5,000 to R75,000 after being cut from R80,000 to R70,000 this year in order to allow for up to 32 Maiden and Maiden Juvenile Plates to be split into two races when the number of final acceptors warrants creating an extra race. For 2012 the number of maiden races that can be split has been upped to 40.
The RA bonus races, which offer a special bonus for Racing Association members, remain unchanged for 2012. Forty such races, each with a R20,000 bonus, will be held on the Highveld with 16 in Port Elizabeth (R15,000 bonus each) and four at Flamingo Park (R10,000 bonus apiece).
The monthly lower-grade race meetings on the Highveld, where all races carry a R50,000 gross stake, will be discontinued from May next year. These meetings were introduced at short notice in 2009 to replace fixtures dropped by Gold Circle and have now been elevated into fully fledged race meetings by Phumelela and the RA.