01/06/2009 1:00AM

Ascot raises Royal meet purses


Ascot Racecourse announced on Tuesday purse increases of 450,000 pounds, approximately $662,000, to its five-day Royal Meeting, which will be held this year from June 16-20. The increases apply to 11 of the 30 races on the five Royal Ascot cards and bring total prize money for the meeting to approximately $6.5 million.

The 11 races that have had their purses raised are all group races. The largest increases go to the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes and the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes, both upped to approximately $662,000. Five other Group 1 contests, the Queen Anne Stakes, the St. James's Palace Stakes, the King's Stand Stakes, the Ascot Gold Cup and the Coronation Stakes, have received boosts to approximately $441,000.

The increases come on the heels of Ascot's announcement that its midsummer feature, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, would be worth one million pounds in 2009 - 150,000 pounds more than its 2008 running - approximately $1.47 million.