Phumelela and Gold Circle have announced that the stakes of the four major races on the South African racing calendar have each been upped by R500 000, bringing the total prize money of the four to a staggering R11 million.

vodacom durban july startThe stake of Gommagomma Challenge, Africa’s Richest Horserace, goes up to R3.5 million from next year, while prize money for the Vodacom Durban July will increase to R3 million. The 2008 Steinhoff International Summer Cup will carry total prize money of R2 million and the stake of the 2009 J&B Met will increase to R2.5 million.

The 2008 Met will be run for a stake of R2 million as advertised. Also up by R200 000 is the stake for the Canon Gold Cup and next year’s traditional seasonal opener will carry prize money of R1.2 million. This will boost the stakes on offer for the country’s “Big Five” races to a total of R12.2 million.

Michel Nairac, Chief Executive of Gold Circle, said he was delighted at the increase for the country’s “Big Five”. “While we are still some way off the top international purses, these increases bring us into line with the international arena,” he said.

“In US dollar terms, the Gommagomma Challenge, at current exchange rates, is worth in the region of half a million dollars and the Vodacom Durban July $450 000. These increases also serve as an incentive for owners to keep their top horses in the country.”

Extract from Sunday Tribune 18 November 2007