Racing in NSW has received a shot in the arm with the announcement of a $20 million prize money injection and the addition of a new race type to Sydney Saturday programs.

The annual boost in stakes, unveiled by Racing NSW on Wednesday, will be spread across country and metropolitan racing.

It includes the creation of $100,000 Midway Races, which will be open to horses trained out of small to mid-sized city and metropolitan stables.

The Midway Races will be added to Saturday metropolitan programs from July 1 with eligibility determined by the number of winners a trainer has produced in the preceding 12 months, and the level of the victories.

Prize money for some of the flagship races during the spring and summer has also been increased with the Epsom Handicap purse rising to $1.5 million and the Villiers Stakes tripling to $750,000.

Country race meetings will be given an extra $9 million with prize money for Highway races increasing to $100,000.

Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding said they hoped the initiative would benefit people at all levels of the industry.

“These increases broaden the spread of prize money and further improve the dividends back to our owners and participants,” Balding said.

“We also want to make sure that our traditional spring feature races continue to attract quality fields and maintain their prize money relativity.”



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