23 horses were declared to run, which were separated into one race of 12, and the other with 11.
There are actually 2 non-runners, but they are still relevant to this piece.
The prize money on offer for this races is now doubled as there are the 2 contests, but the total prize fund is £13,600; £6800 per race, which is then split across the first 4 to finish, the remainder will go home empty handed.
It doesn’t seem like a lot, it isn’t a lot.
There is no lack of articles and comment on how the prize money in the UK is hugely underwhelming compared to the other major racing countries.
But surely, the prize-money is relative the calibre and cost of the horses competing for the money?
Premier League football clubs compete for massive sums of money, and that is then reinvested into players, wages, facilities and the like but lower level football doesn’t get to compete for such riches and everything else is then proportionate. At least, in theory.
So the same will apply to horse racing? No. Not even close.
The combined amount of money that has changed hands in sales rings for the 23 horses competing for less than £14,000 is in excess of an astonishing £7.5million (over 330k per horse).
Buying the horse is just the beginning; Factor in at least £500,000 in combined training fees to get the horses prepared, the cost of travel, vets, staff and the number is yet higher. Outlay to get your horse into this race doesn’t end there; 23 sets of silks would cost around £7000, and to pay 23 jockeys to ride the horses costs around £3000.
There are admin fees to register the name of a horse, and the colours that the horse will race in, and the name that will be registered against the horse (that is higher for a syndicate or a racing club) and then there is a fee to give permission to your trainer to actually train your horse. Most of these fees are then required to renewed each year, even if nothing changes.
Of course, in racing there are very valuable races which are more in line with what other top sports offer, and there is a bonus available for winning either of these races tonight, which is undoubtedly a help. What can be achieved by winning one of these races tonight is a splash of brightly coloured against a flood of murky dark water which see pound after pound flow out.
This is just one race, and hopefully all the horses competing will have good strong futures in which they will accumulate significant prize money pots over the course of their careers, but the money on offer for such a race on a wet Wednesday at Kempton is very disproportionate to the benefit of running.
Or, just a thought… is the prize money fair, and the horses being entered and raced are just in the wrong race?
That is a whole other argument.
The Gold and Green Crowd is a multi-horse racing club, where members share ownership of all of our horses.
Giving them more runners, more chances of going racing, more chances of winners and all for just one annual payment.
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