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Prize money for Royal Ascot 2021 is today announced at £6 million over the week – a 66% increase on the £3.61m offered in 2020. The Royal Meeting will take place from 15th to 19th June and the full order of running with race values for the extended programme announced in January is attached.
The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, which takes place in July, will be run for £875,000 (2020: £400,000).
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive Officer at Ascot Racecourse, said:
“In 2020 we had hoped to offer record prize money of more than £8 million at the Royal Meeting. In the event the pandemic made that impossible and we have now spent nearly a year racing behind closed doors with trading income down 80%. This year’s prize money of £6 million represents 75% of what we had originally planned for 2020.
“With restricted attendances in 2021 and pandemic insurance cover no longer available, the business will need to absorb a significant loss this year in order to deliver our wish to support the industry with the most prize money that we can prudently afford. Whilst Covid-19 has knocked back our long term financial trajectory by several years, our aim is to make the largest steps we can towards getting prize money levels back on track as soon as possible.
“Without owners we would have no racing. We are very grateful for their commitment and thank them for their support. We look forward to being able to increase prize money further as soon as it is possible for us to do so.
“We are also very grateful to our official partners, QIPCO and Longines, as well as our official suppliers, sponsors, broadcast partners and betting media partners. All of their support is deeply appreciated.
“We at Ascot much look forward to being able to welcome back our racegoers in June and delivering a special week of racing, both for those who are able to be with us on site and the many millions who will be with us in spirit through our broadcast and digital channels.”
Meanwhile, Ascot’s Flat Season begins with Royal Ascot Trials Day on 28th April, where the Longines Sagaro Stakes and the Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial, both Group Three, will each be run for £70,000 (Minimum Values £45,000 in Programme Book One).