The first Group race of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival conducted at Moonee Valley Racecourse has had its prize money cut, the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) not gaining approval to for the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes to gain a Group 1 status upgrade.
Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day is one of only three spring carnival meetings conducted at Moonee Valley, and in a major blow to the club the stakes for the Group 2, weight-for-age mile showdown has been reduced from $400,000 to $300,000.
The MVRC was hoping the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes could make the grade as a Group 1 feature, joining the $500,000 Manikato Stakes (1200m) in September and the esteemed $3 million Cox Plate (2040m) in October as an elite level feature during the spring at the course.
The Australian Pattern Committee, however, failed to sanction the race gaining Group 1 status forcing the MVRC to decrease the total prize money by $100,000.
“The MVRC has contributed $540,000 in additional funding to the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes to support its campaign to have the race elevated to Group One status,” a statement from the club said.
“This has come t nothing as the Australian Pattern Committee last week decided not to elevate the race from Group Two to Group One.
“As a result prize money has been reduced in accordance with the race’s Group Two grading.”
As well as the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, held this year on Saturday September 10, two other Group races will take place at the meeting one of which has also had a prize money decrease.
The other highlights on the Monee Valley race card on Dato Day are the fellow weight-for-age Group 2 WH Stocks Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 McEwen Stakes (1000m).
While the WH Stocks Stakes prize money for 2011 will remain at $200,000, the McEwen Stakes will from this year have its prize money restricted to $150,000 in total, down from $200,000.
In an attempt to still attract quality fields of gallopers for the 2011 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes and McEwen Stakes, the MVRC have committed to contributing an additional $145,000 in stakes across both events.
Nomination fees for the races will remain the same, but the cost of acceptance stage will drop to $1237.50 for the McEwen and $2475 for the Dato.
The Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes is a crucial lead-up race for horses heading towards the 2011 Cox Plate and has been won by Mark Kavanagh’s Whobegotyou for the past two years.