Hawkes Bay Racing has slashed the stake money for its signature race, the Kelt Capital Stakes, by $800,000.

The group one Kelt has been worth $2 million for the past two years but will drop to $1.2 million on October 3, with less dramatic cuts also possible for the club's two other group one spring races.

Hawkes Bay Racing manager John McGifford said it was a disappointing step to take, but there was simply less money to go around in the racing industry.

"We just need to be realistic about what we can afford right now."