Beverley Racecourse has this season raised the prize money to £1.2million ahead of the curtain-raising meeting on Wednesday.
The horse racing industry suffered significant financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic, with Beverley one of many tracks to have felt the pinch.
But with Covid restrictions having now been lifted across the United Kingdom, Beverley chief executive Sally Iggulden and her team have injected significant funds back into prize money throughout the 19-fixture campaign.
Sally Iggulden said:
“It was really important to us to boost pre-Covid prize-money levels so far as we are able – with the intention of encouraging really competitive racing on the Westwood.
“This season, all races will be worth at least £1,000 more than the minimum level that was expressed by the British Horse Racing Authority.
“It will also be reassuring to owners and trainers that our two flagship meetings of the racing season, the bet365 Two-Year-Old Trophy Day on May 28 and the William Hill Bullet Day on August 27, will each offer £130,000 in prize money.
“We are delighted to be able to offer £1.2m in prize money across the course of the season and are confident this level of commitment will be reflected by the calibre of thoroughbred we see at Beverley.”
Investment over the winter has also included a major revamp of the Premier Enclosure terrace to provide a more panoramic viewing experience while planning permission has been submitted to rebuild the stable yard and ancillary buildings.
Beverley’s ambitious project – due to commence in September 2022 before being completed the following spring – will cost in excess of £1million and will ensure horses receive an even higher standard of care when they are at the track.
The East Yorkshire venue’s most popular meeting of the year, Ladies’ Day on August 10, will this season see Porsche Centre Hull as its new title sponsor – with the course offering a 20% discount to racegoers that book online tickets in advance.
The feature race on Wednesday’s first fixture of the season is the £14,000 Beverley Beaker Handicap (2.50).
The five-furlong dash has attracted a full field of 16 sprinters, including five-time Westwood winner Ginger Jam and six other course-and-distance scorers, and was won 12 months ago by Victory Angel.
Gates open at 11am, with the first of seven races due off at 1pm.