A total of £6million in prize-money will be up for grabs at this year’s Royal Ascot, up from the £3.61m offered in 2020.
The funds for the fixture, which runs from June 15 to 19, represent a 66 per cent increase on last year, when purses were reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year’s meeting took place behind closed doors and this year’s seven-race cards will take place with a limited crowd at best, as restrictions are not due to be fully lifted before June 21 at the earliest under the Government’s road map.
Ascot chief executive Guy Henderson said: “In 2020 we had hoped to offer record prize-money of more than £8million 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 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.
“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.”
Ascot also confirmed the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes, which takes place in July, will be run for £875,000, more than doubling last year’s £400,000.
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