Stradbroke Handicap 2016 prize money cut concerns

Brisbane Race Club officials are worried a move to slash prize money for the Group One Stradbroke Handicap could ruin plans to make it an international race.

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The Stradbroke had its prize money lifted to $2 million last season for the first time.

It is the richest 1400m-race in the world and the BRC has been working in the background to attract horses from Hong Kong and Japan and possibly Europe.

However, one of the cost cutting options being considered by Racing Queensland, which controls prize money, is to cut the race back to $1.5 million.

BRC chairman Neville Bell said the suggestion of a cut to prize money for the Stradbroke was one of three things always discussed.

“There is nothing definite about the cut. But it should be emphasised the winter carnival has a very valuable place in Australian racing,” Bell said.

“There have been nine Group winners and four Group One winners in the southern carnivals this spring who raced in Brisbane and we had first and fourth in the Cox Plate last Saturday.”

“Brisbane is on the fringe of being an international venue. A lot of background work has gone into the problem of quarantine and the like.”

Bell said the Stradbroke was an international attraction at $2 million.

“At $1.5 million I am not so sure,” he said.


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