The Tasmanian racing industry has generally welcomed the news that betting exchange Betfair is to increase its contribution to Tasmanian Thoroughbred Racing Council funding by 12.9 percent - up A$287 000 Australian to A$2.49 million Australian dollars for the 2008-09 season.
The contribution is a direct result of Betfair's partnership with Tasmania's racing industry, and will have a major effect on prizemoney this season, according to industry observers.
The TTRC said the additional funding will be focused on grass roots racing to coincide with the recent announcement of the new Tasmanian spring and autumn carnivals and newly implemented showcase races structured to increase returns to all local participants.
"A proportion of the funding will also be focused to implement a new minimum prizemoney level for Group and Listed races within Tasmania to ensure the long term viability of the pattern races currently within the Tasmanian calendar," said TTRC chief executive Rohan Mitchell.
"Betfair continues to be a great supporter of Tasmanian racing," he added. "This new initiative in conjunction with the overall prizemoney allocation for the 2008/09 season is targeted at offering extra opportunities and returns to owners who participate and support the local industry throughout the entire year.
Thoroughbred Breeders Tasmania president Philip Swinton said the additional funding and its implementation was significant to the future of the industry in the short and long term.
"This move is extremely important for the Tasmanian thoroughbred breeding industry because it ensures additional opportunities and funding throughout the entire course of the year and will instil the required confidence within the local breeding industry," Swinton said.
Tasmanian Racehorse Owners Association president Alan Davison reiterated Swinton's sentiments.
"TROA welcomes this positive announcement. Owners costs have continued to escalate during the past 12 months while prizemoney levels for non feature races have remained stagnant, so this move sets a solid foundation for future growth and increased returns to all owners," Davison said.