Royal Ascot prize-money almost...


Royal Ascot prize-money almost doubled for 2021

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The prize-money pot on offer at this year's Royal Ascot has been almost doubled from £3.6million to £6 million.

That represents a 66 per cent inrease from last year's festival when purses were reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic which forced organisers to host the fixture behind closed doors.

This year's Royal Ascot will take place from 15-19 June and the racecourse's chief executive Guy Henderson admits that even with the increase this year, the prizemoney remains lower than they would have hoped.

"In 2020 we had hoped to offer record prize-money of more than £8million at the Royal meeting," said Henderson. "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 per cent.

"This year's prize-money of £6m represents 75 per cent 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."

This year's Royal Ascot festival could see spectators allowed back in to watch the action on the track.

A limited crowd is the best that organisers can hope for as restrictions are not due to be fully lifted before 21 June at the earliest under the UK government's road map.

"Without owners we would have no racing," added Henderson. "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 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."

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