Racing NSW today announced major prizemoney increases to country racing carnivals right across NSW as a further boost to country racing which will commence from 1 August 2019.
With this announcement today, total annual prizemoney to be paid for country racing in NSW will now be more than $81 million which is an increase of $48 million or 145% since 2012. Country racing has received the largest increase of any sector during this time.
There will now be eight feature Country Cup races with prizemoney of $200,000 at the following racecourses: Port Macquarie, Goulburn, Albury, Wellington, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Scone and Grafton.
In addition, prizemoney for Grafton’s Ramornie Handicap, the Wagga Wagga Town Plate and Scone’s Dark Jewel Quality will also be increased to $200,000.
The Coffs Harbour and Muswellbrook Cups will receive an increase in prizemoney to $150,000 each and the Taree Cup, Dubbo Cup and Snake Gully Cup at Gundagai will receive an increase in prizemoney to $100,000.
Also, the feature meetings at Lismore, Coonamble, Coonabarabran, Mudgee, Moruya, Bega and Orange have received significant increases for their Cups and support races at these meetings.
At each of these feature country meetings there will now also be a $50,000 ‘Country Magic’ race which is restricted to country-trained horses only. These ‘Country Magic’ races will ensure country participants have an extra opportunity to compete at these feature meetings.
These latest announcements follow on from recent increases to minimum prizemoney levels to $22,000 per race and 40 Country Showcase meetings per annum with each race being at least $30,000 and the introduction of races restricted to country-trained horses only such as:
- $1.3 million The Kosciuszko
- $500,000 Country Championships Final
- 7 x $150,000 Country Championships qualifiers throughout NSW for total $1,050,000
- $75,000 weekly Highway races
- $40,000 maidens for country-trained horses only
Racing NSW will also provide marketing and promotional support to these country race clubs.
These events are also supported by Destination NSW to ensure tourism is brought into the local region. The event will get the local community to get together to celebrate everything great about their town.
Racing NSW Chairman, Mr Russell Balding AO, said: “A key strategic priority of Racing NSW is for country racing to continue to stage great carnivals and Cup Race meetings and to ensure that thoroughbred racing is widely celebrated and enjoyed throughout all of NSW, not just Sydney and the Provincials.
“Thoroughbred racing, dressing up, heading to the races and having a bet is part of what we do.
“The prizemoney increases for these meetings, along with the marketing and promotion of the Carnivals themselves, particularly to the younger demographic, will lift NSW Country Racing to a whole new level.
“In addition, the promotion, through Destination NSW of the particular regional attractions and experiences leading up to and during the actual Country Racing Carnival, will be another reason for people to visit regional NSW and make Country Racing part of their short stay or holiday whilst in the region,” Mr Balding said.
Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Mr Kevin Anderson, said: “The increase in prizemoney is not only good for racing, but has great flow on effects for regional communities.
“It’s no secret that our regional communities are doing it tough, especially given this unprecedented drought, so investing in racedays can help drive tourism and increase bed nights which is crucial to our local economies,” Mr Anderson said.
“Racing is more than just an event in regional communities, it’s part of the culture, which is why we want to continue to make racing as enjoyable and accessible as possible.”
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