The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) on Tuesday announced it will increase prizemoney for the Lexus Melbourne Cup to $8 million, a record in the 158 year history of Australia’s greatest race.
The total prizemoney, including trophies, for the Lexus Melbourne Cup will increase to $8 million, up from $7.3 million in 2018.
The winner of ‘the race that stops a nation’™ will receive $4.4 million plus $250,000 in trophies, second place $1.1 million and third place $550,000.
Prizemoney will continue to be paid from 1st down to 12th. From sixth to twelfth place, each will now receive $160,000, up from $150,000.
Ratified at the VRC Board meeting last month, this announcement is the first of a number of significant investments and initiatives the VRC has planned for the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the prizemoney increases reaffirm the VRC’s commitment to the Lexus Melbourne Cup - the jewel in the crown of Cup week and Australia’s most important race.
“At $8 million, the Lexus Melbourne Cup is the world’s richest handicap and the world’s richest staying race,” Mrs Elliott said.
“It is the race every Australian owner, trainer and jockey wants to win, and internationally, has become one of the most sought after prizes in world racing.
“Connections cannot buy a place in the Lexus Melbourne Cup, it has to be earned. The results of the recently revamped Andrew Ramsden at Flemington highlights the sheer joy that comes with knowing your horse has secured a place in the Cup.”
The Melbourne Cup, picture VRC
Mrs Elliott also noted the incredible reach of the Lexus Melbourne Cup.
“The Cup itself was watched by more than 750 million people across 163 territories globally,” she said.
“We are excited to see the domestic coverage on Network 10 this spring following last year’s landmark media rights deal of $100 million. The five-year agreement is the biggest in the history of the VRC, and we think the biggest in racing worldwide.”
Each year the VRC invests more than $55 million to put Cup Week on with last year’s event generating a record $447.6 million in gross economic benefit to Victoria, which is unrivalled by any other Australian sporting event. More than 300,000 attend the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“We take great pride in the economic contribution Cup Week makes to Victoria, but it extends well beyond its home state with a gross economic benefit of close to $1 billion nationally,” Mrs Elliott said.
“For every $1 of gross economic benefit generated in Victoria, $1.09 is generated in other parts of Australia. We know that last year more than 639,000 people attended a Melbourne Cup Day function, 68% living outside Victoria, and over 2.2 million attended a private house party, 47% living outside Victoria.”
The 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival saw 451 horses, including 20 internationally-trained horses, compete in 37 races resulting in 23 individual trainers and 21 jockeys enjoying victory.
Lexus Melbourne Cup Day the biggest wagering meeting in Australian racing, with over $312 million in domestic turnover recorded for the 2018 meeting at Flemington.
The Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup will be run at 3pm on Tuesday 5 November 2019.