Racing Victoria has increased the VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series to a record $2.36 million in 2015-16 following the announcement of two more feature races at Caulfield next April.
The VOBIS Gold Heath (2000m) and VOBIS Gold Distaff (1400m, fillies and mares) have been added to the Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday on April 16 – which will now include six VOBIS Gold-only races.
The expansion from 13 to 15 races also means that the Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold will offer more than $20 million in prizemoney and bonuses next season, with VOBIS Gold to also include five-year-old horses for the first time.
“The industry’s Strategic Plan outlines the extension of the VOBIS schemes, including the VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series, as a key objective to promote ownership and breeding growth in this state as well as maximising returns to owners,” Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter said.
“VOBIS Gold riches on offer state-wide has seen a tremendous boost to Super VOBIS nominations, affirming the status of both Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold as Australia’s premier breeding and racing schemes.
“The VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series has produced some wonderful stories in its initial three years including Trust In A Gust, Fontein Ruby, Prince of Brooklyn and The Big Dance, and I am confident that will continue with its expansion to include five-year-olds next season.
“We thank the Victorian State Government for its continued support of VOBIS which is delivering clear benefits for thoroughbred racing and breeding in this state.”
RV also confirmed that prizemoney and bonuses for the headline race on April 16, the VOBIS Gold Sprint, will be increased from $180,000 to $280,000 and the introduction of the first 2400m premier race for VOBIS Gold nominees with the season-ending $180,000 VOBIS Gold Stayers at Caulfield on Saturday, July 30 next year.
Trainer Danny Curran highlighted the benefit of the scheme in March when his juvenile first starter The Big Dance, bought for just $750 at last year’s Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale, claimed $172,000 in prizemoney and bonuses for winning the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) at Bendigo.
“To win such a lucrative race in my hometown of Bendigo was absolutely huge for my stable,” Curran said. “Obviously the prizemoney is enormous, way bigger than we’ve ever won before.
“When you start looking at some of the races at Royal Ascot and realise that we’ve won a restricted race that’s worth more prizemoney than some of their races, it really shows just how rewarding the VOBIS scheme can be.”
Curran speaks highly of the scheme. “You just don’t buy horses that aren’t VOBIS-nominated anymore because it is the difference between a horse being viable and not in a lot of cases,” he said.
“While it’s a fantastic scheme for those at the top, it’s also vital for those that are at the bottom end of the market as the prizemoney bonuses are spread further down than just the winner.
“And the fact the VOBIS Gold scheme stays with you throughout the life of a horse is really exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing how that’s going to play out.”