Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy steers home Shamardal, right, to win the St James' Palace Stakes at the Royal Ascot on Tuesday June 14, 2005. Photo: AP Photo/Paul Ellis
Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy steers home Shamardal, right, to win the St James' Palace Stakes at the Royal Ascot on Tuesday June 14, 2005. Photo: AP Photo/Paul Ellis

Coronavirus hits Ascot Racecourse Champions Day prize money

By Reuters Time of article published Aug 6, 2020

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ASCOT – The total prize money for this year's season-ending British Champions Day at Ascot race course has been cut by about 40%, to £2.5 million ($3.28 million), due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Britain's richest race-day, which will be held on Oct. 17, paid out a total of £4.2 million in prize money last year.

This year's Champion Stakes, the biggest race of the day, will be run for £750,000, down from more than £1.3 million last year.

"We are pleased to be able to stage a card worth £2.5 million... despite our income streams being so negatively affected and the enormous challenges facing the sport currently," chief executive Rod Street said in a statement.

The prize purses for all the races on the supporting card have also fallen, although the event has managed to retain its position as the richest race-day in the UK.

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The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes will be run for £650,000, down from £1.1 million last year, while the prize money for the Fillies and Mares Stakes and Champions Sprint Stakes has shrunk 36%, to £350,000, this year.

The Long Distance Cup and Balmoral will be run for £300,000 and £100,000, down from £450,000 and £250,000, respectively, last year.

Horse racing returned to Britain on June 1 without spectators after being suspended in mid-March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

It was not immediately clear if some fans would be allowed to attend this year's event.

Reuters

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