The Derby to offer £1.125m prize fund in 2021
The Derby will be run this June for £1.125 million after The Jockey Club, which stages the famous race at Epsom Downs Racecourse, today confirmed it will be worth more than double its 2020 prize fund of £500,000.
The year-on-year £625,000 increase in prize money for the one-and-a-half mile Classic comes despite the ongoing financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, which cost The Jockey Club more than £90 million in revenues in 2020 across the 15 British racecourses it operates.
This impact continues today with spectators currently restricted from attending sports events and betting shops closed and means that prize money values have not yet returned to their previous pre-pandemic levels.
Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs Racecourse, said:
“Safeguarding The Derby’s position at the pinnacle of Flat racing globally is really important to us given the role our sport’s top races play in supporting the racing and breeding industries as a whole.
“Continuing our track record on prize money funding, The Jockey Club is doing everything we can to maximise our investment into The Derby and across our race programme as a whole within the financial constraints this pandemic has created.
“We’re not yet able to return the race to previously advertised levels, but I’m pleased we’re able to commit to such a significant step in that direction despite the ongoing situation and we’ve reduced fees for all past and future entry stages by 25% in recognition of this.”
Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, which governs horseracing in Britain, said:
“This remains a hugely challenging time financially for our industry. Like The Jockey Club, I want to see prize money for our biggest and most important races return to competitive levels as soon as possible. I applaud their effort to ensure prize money for such an important and pivotal race in our sport is taking a big step towards that despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. The Derby is one of the most famous races in the world and a flagbearer for British Racing both domestically and internationally.”
The 241st running of The Derby took place on Saturday 4th July last year with no spectators present, rather than on its tradition date of the first Saturday in June. The race was won by the Aidan O’Brien trained and Coolmore bred colt, Serpentine, ridden by Emmet McNamara in the colours of Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.
JCR’s boosting of this prize fund is once again underpinned by a significant increase in executive contribution despite the ongoing financial challenges faced by the business. It is a further illustration of our track record of industry-leading prize money investment.
The prize fund of The Derby at £1.125m is more than seven times the current industry-agreed minimum value for Group 1 races at £150,000.
The impact of the pandemic means it is not yet possible to return the race to the previously advertised prize fund of £1,500,000. Therefore stakes contributions from owners for all previous and future stages of the race have been reduced by 25% as a result.
For more information please visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.