GRV and clubs revise prize money for new season

Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) has today announced changes to prizemoney allocations for group and feature races for the 2024-25 racing season following the completion of consultation with clubs.

Greyhound racing.
Greyhound racing.

As part of a continuing review into its operations, GRV has reduced its feature race funding allocations to clubs, with targeted reductions made to a selection of feature races to assist in meeting necessary cost savings.

Despite the reduction in funding to clubs, the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA), Sandown Greyhound Racing Club (SGRC) and several of our country clubs will continue to top up prizemoney for select feature races to ensure Victorian greyhound racing's most elite races retain their status on the calendar.

The world's richest greyhound race, The Phoenix, held at The Meadows, and substantively funded by slot holder entry fees, will retain a winner's cheque of $1 million and total prizemoney of $1.65 million. The MGRA has also moved to ensure their other signature events, the Sportsbet Australian Cup and Topgun retain their current first place prizemoney levels of $300,000 and $150,000 respectively.

Other group 1 races at The Meadows where current prizemoney levels have been maintained include the Fanta Bale ($100,000 to winner), Topgun Stayers ($75,000), Hume Cup ($75,000), Rookie Rebel ($75,000) and Zoom Top ($75,000). The only changes to the MGRA group 1 prizemoney levels will be the reduction of the Temlee, Silver Chief and Maturity Classic to $75,000 to the winner (down from $100,000).

Sandown GRC has elected to boost prizemoney for the Laurels Classic final. Next season the race will be elevated to group 1 status, pending approval from Greyhound Clubs Australia, with the club topping up total prizemoney for the race to $113,500, with a first prize of $75,000 (up from $55,000). Total prizemoney for the Launching Pad series has also been maintained at 2024 levels.

First prize for the winner of the Sportsbet Melbourne Cup will drop from $650,000 to $500,000, but the Sandown feature will remain Victoria's richest group 1 race.

A number of other feature city races have seen prize purses retained or reduced for next season. Those major races with revised first prizes are listed at the bottom of this release.

GRV's allocation to all clubs for feature and group races has been reduced by $1 million for next season, with the following impacts:

Prizemoney allocations for group 2 country cup finals will be reduced to the GCA minimum of $40,000 to the winner (down from $55,000).The removal of top-up payments for heats of group 1 races, bringing minimums for group 1 heats back from total prizemoney of $15,250 (1st: $10,000), to metropolitan free for all levels (Total $9,055, 1st: $6,100).A reduction in total prizemoney for The Great Chase final, back to the minimum for group 3 races of $25,000 to the winner (down from $47,000 in 2023).The removal of the Country Championship and Provincial Plate events.The removal of Go Distance Racing bonuses.

The 15 per cent prizemoney premium on each longer distance category will continue with standard distance races (485m – 594m) receiving 15 per cent more prizemoney than shorter distance racing (less than 485m) and races at 595m and above will continue at 15 per cent more than standard.

The distance racing calendar will continue to be co-ordinated and published to provide the same opportunities for distance race that has been provided in recent years.

Clubs play an integral role in the conduct and funding of feature races and some country clubs are still finalising decisions on their own contributions to prizemoney for the feature races they conduct next season.

Sale Greyhound Racing Club will top up its Cup prizemoney to $75,000 first prize to ensure it retains group 1 status, while Geelong Greyhound Racing Club has also indicated it will boost the Geelong Cup winner's cheque to $50,000.

Quotes from GRV chief executive officer Stuart Laing:

"We'd like to thank the clubs for working with GRV to revise feature race prizemoney, given industry revenue from wagering has been under significant pressure for the past 18 months. 

"The growth in prizemoney and bonuses on offer in Victorian greyhound racing over recent years for group and feature races has been extraordinary, and as previously indicated, we needed to take a close look at where we are positioned with these races in the current economic circumstances. 

"GRV has also made cuts to its operating expenses and is continuing to do so in a range of areas without compromising the commitment to, and expenditure on, core integrity, welfare and rehoming operations, and we have done so to ensure the financial viability of the industry."

Quotes from MGRA chief executive officer Scott Wuchatsch:

"The Meadows is synonymous with elite greyhound racing, hosting races of the calibre of the Phoenix, Australian Cup and Topgun, and the Club really wanted to maintain their standing among the sports elite racing events.

"The Phoenix has grown exponentially year on year and has cemented itself as the pinnacle in terms of media coverage, mainstream awareness and event attendance. Its status as the world's richest single greyhound race needs to be protected."

Quotes from SGRC chief executive officer Adrian Scott: 

"Whilst its disappointing to see the reduction in prizemoney, trying to minimise the impact it has on owners and trainers is the real challenge. Generating a better financial return to participants will ultimately come through an efficient and collaborative industry."