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Cesarewitch at Newmarket to be worth £1m by 2020

Cesarewitch at Newmarket to be worth £1m by 2020

The Cesarewitch at Newmarket will be worth £1million by 2020.

Historically referred to as the second leg of the ‘autumn double’ – the first being the Cambridgeshire at the same track – the two-mile-two-furlong handicap also doubles in prize-money to £500,000 this season.

Next year it will be worth £750,000 before rising to seven figures in 2020.

The Jockey Club’s backing of the Cesarewitch is part of a wholesale attempt from racing to breathe new life into the staying division.

York’s Ebor Handicap will from 2019 be worth £1m, while the same amount of money is on offer for connections of a horse that can win the new Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million project.

British Horseracing Authority chairman Nick Rust said: “As a sport, we want to stage world-class racing and a £1m Cesarewitch from 2020 will provide another boost to our increasingly strong and valuable programme for stayers.”

Adding his support, trainer Roger Charlton said: “I suspect when Withhold won for me last autumn, he did so three years too soon!

“It is a great new initiative, as it is very important that breeders are encouraged to not only breed sprinters but look at the longer term too, while owners are given the incentive to keep staying horses in training for longer instead of potentially selling them to continue their careers in Australia.”

Fellow trainer Andrew Balding said: “Trainers will always welcome the announcement of prize-money increases, but I am particularly enthused to hear about this additional support for the stayers’ programme.

“It is very exciting for trainers and owners alike, particularly for owners who are minded to have a staying horse in training, which is fundamentally important to the future of our sport.”

Newmarket has also announced an increase in prize-money for the Bahrain Trophy, a Group Three contest for three-year-olds run over a mile and five furlongs at the July meeting, with the fund boosted by 50 per cent to £150,000. By 2020 the race value will be £200,000.

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