ATR Bolsters Stakes by $3 Million

Date: 6 Sep 2023

ATR Bolsters Stakes by $3 Million


NZ Racing News reports on yet another good news stakes' announcement for New Zealand owners ...


Auckland Thoroughbred Racing (ATR) has today confirmed that it will be contributing $3,094,000 into stakes for the season as part of its annual stakes announcement. Total stakes on offer for the Club’s 2023/24 season is $18,705,000.

This figure sees stakes offered at a $25,000 minimum across all of ATR’s race meetings in the coming season. The amount, which is over and above New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s (NZTR) minimum of $17,000, continues the upward trajectory ATR committed to at the time of merger. Following the pleasing trend of last season, the figure is the highest minimum to have been offered by the Club, exceeding 2022/23’s figure of $20,000.

ATR chief executive officer Paul Wilcox says that in addition to the exciting installation of the StrathAyr track at Ellerslie, the Club remains committed to improving stakes in the Auckland area.

“We are firmly focused on growing the industry and stakes increases remain a priority for us. We’ve set an ambitious goal of contributing $15 million to stakes at Ellerslie and Pukekohe Park within 5 years, giving us averages we’ve not seen or heard of in New Zealand racing,” Wilcox said.

“This really is a journey for us, and we hope our all-important stakeholders – our owners, trainers and jockeys – have enjoyed the improvement in stakes at all levels while racing with ATR to date and today’s announcement continues to underline our commitment in this area.”

The $20.3 million stakes increase for New Zealand racing as a whole, announced by NZTR as a result of the Entain/TAB strategic partnership, created a real sense of optimism in the industry and Wilcox said that it is pleasing to offer further stakes increases in the Auckland area.

“To offer a further uplift on top of the boost the industry has already received for the coming season creates a real sense of confidence in the future of racing in Auckland and beyond for our stakeholders,” he said.

“We’ve made no secret of the fact that our new business model is designed to offer sustainable returns to the industry and whilst it may take time to see us ultimately reach the returns we’d like to see, we are heading in the right direction.”

The TAB Karaka Millions race meeting, already New Zealand’s richest race meeting with three races run for $1 million in stakes or above, will continue to be the glamour night of the industry with the Gr. 2 Westbury Classic (1400m) now run for $300,000, $125,000 more than the NZTR minimum. Likewise, the Gr.3 Brighthill Farm Yearlings Concorde Handicap (1200m) and Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy (1200m) will each be run for $225,000, $105,000 more than the NZTR minimum.

Wilcox is quick to emphasise however that, whilst ATR’s black-type races have all seen significant increases, the Club has also considered the full spectrum of races when setting stakes for the coming season.

“Whilst it’s pleasing to announce that our Group One races will now be run for $450,000 and our Listed races run for at least $100,000, it’s also important to highlight that our stakes increase formula saw races at all levels achieve an uplift.

“As an example, all races run at industry non-peak racedays will have minimum stakes of $25,000, better allowing those grassroots participants to continue to enjoy the game.”

ATR plans to conduct 20 race meetings over the 2023/24 season from both Pukekohe Park and Ellerslie, with racing’s headquarters set to return in 2024.

To view the full breakdown of ATR’s stakes for the 2023/24 season, click here.


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