RV releases 2024 jumps program
The jumps racing schedule for 2024 has been released and while the program largely mirrors that of last season, the total stakes on offer has returned to the previous season’s level.
As part of the prizemoney reductions to some of the feature flat races this season, jumps racing too is taking a shave, although RV stresses those savings were being made in the md-tier jumps races and not from the bottom level of maiden and restricted races or from the top end where the Grand Annual and the nationals sit.
“As part of the programming process and as occurred prior to the current flat-racing season, prizemoney levels were also reviewed given the ongoing decline in the wagering market and in turn industry revenues,” the RV release said.
“A total prizemoney pool of $4.76 million will be on offer across the 2024 season, returning to that offered in the 2022 season with a 3.5 per cent reduction from 2023.
“Minimum prizemoney levels of $35,000 per race have been maintained, however there has been targeted prizemoney reductions to some feature races which are outlined as part of the full 2024 jumps racing program.”
RV jumps manager Josh Grimwood explained further: “As occurred with the formulation of the program for the 2023-24 flat season, we’ve had to critically review prizemoney for the 2024 jumps racing season, owing to a declining wagering market and industry revenues.
“As a result, we’ve made targeted reductions to selected feature race prizemoney, whilst ensuring that the minimum prizemoney for jumps races remains at $35,000.
“The $4.76 million in prizemoney on offer across the 2024 jumps racing season represents an average of over $72,000 per race.”
The program features 19 jumps meetings throughout Victoria – six of which will be held exclusively for jumps riders – with 41 hurdle races and 24 steeplechase races programmed prior to any divisions.
The season will begin at Warrnambool on March 12 and again finish with the Grand National Steeplechase meeting at Ballarat on August 25.
RV announced that there were two notable programming changes in 2024 to enhance the pattern of feature races and maximise fields:
THE Two Rivers Steeplechase (3800m) has moved from the end of June back to Casterton Cup Day on Sunday, 19 May; and,
THE Australian Hurdle (3900m) and the Australian Steeplechase (3900m) at Sportsbet Sandown will move to Sunday, June 2 from their previous May timeslot.
The 2024 season will also see the introduction of the Adam Lindsay Gordon Series – a joint initiative by the AJRA and Country Racing Victoria (CRV) to promote the rich history of jumps racing in Victoria’s western districts.
Points will be allocated based on finishing position (5 points for first, 3 points for second and 1 point for third) in the following four heats, with the winning jockey and trainer determined on the season-ending Grand National day:
1. BM120 Hurdle (3400m), Hamilton, Thursday 30 May
2. BM120 Hurdle (3500m), Casterton, Sunday 30 June
3. 0-114 Hurdle (3300m), Coleraine, Sunday 11 August
4. BM120 Steeplechase (3600m), Ballarat, Sunday 25 August