COUNTRY racing carnivals are in the sights of Racing NSW with its announcement of more increased prize money to be distributed around the state.
As from August 1, the total annual prize money to be paid for country racing will now be more than $81 million, which is an increase of $48m or 145 per cent since 2012.
From the new season, there will be eight feature Country Cup races with prize money of $200,000 at Port Macquarie, Goulburn, Albury, Wellington, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Scone and Grafton.
Also, there are $200,000 races scheduled for Wagga Wagga's Town Plate and Scone's Dark Jewel Quality (in May), and Grafton's Ramornie Handicap (in July). While the Coffs Harbour and Muswellbrook Cups each will receive an increase prize money to $150,000, the Taree, Dubbo and Snake Gully Cups (at Gundagai), will be increased to $100,000 each.
Lismore, Coonamble, Coonabarabran, Mudgee, Moruya, Orange, and the Sapphire Coast (at Bega), will also have significant increases for their cup and support races. At each of these meets there will also be a $50,000 "Country Magic" event, which is restricted to country trained horses only.
These races will ensure country participants have an extra opportunity to compete at these feature meetings. These country race clubs will also have support for marketing and promotions for these meets from Racing NSW.
Destination NSW is also lending its support to these events to ensure tourism is brought into the local region. It will be a chance that the local community can celebrate everything that is great about their town.
Meanwhile the TAB and the three racing codes of NSW (gallops, harness and greyhounds) announced a new bet type named "odds and evens," which will fund the new $7.5m Golden Eagle race scheduled for Rosehill on November 2.
In addition, it will fund a new $1m race for Harness racing and $1m race for greyhounds, with details and dates yet to be announced. The bet relates to the first and second placed horses only of a race, with a punter picking both odds or evens or new term "split" (one odd and one even number) to win. Now available on all race meetings wagered through the NSW TAB, the new "odds and evens" bet type has a much lower take out than other bet types, hence giving higher dividends to the punter.
Life after racing broadens further
We are confident that creating a new career after racing is going to be well received within both the racing and equestrian industries, and will become a permanent fixture on many show programs.
FOLLOWING success at their inaugural show of the Thoroughbred Series, which began at the Aquis Champions Tour at the Gold Coast in April, organisers - Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association (TSHA), is gearing for more equestrian competitions which includes Thoroughbreds only classes this month.
The aim of TSHA is to make "off the track" Thoroughbreds more attractive in their retirement and to provide prize money for the different disciplines that Thoroughbreds can compete in and are suited to.
According to Krissy Harris, director of TSHA, there are plenty of equestrians registering their interest in the competitions by nominating their horses.
"We (TSHA) have 125 horses taken up competition licences (by June 17), which is encouraging," Krissy said.
While Racing NSW has already established a number of properties designed to have former racehorses spelled and rehabilitated into having a "life after racing" - whether that be ridden for a specific discipline/recreational/pet, the TSHA provides an avenue via Thoroughbred only classes at equestrian competitions.
While show-jumping is the initial target for these Thoroughbred only classes, it is the TSHA aim to broadened disciplines to include dressage, eventing, hacking, camp-drafting and polo. This month will see the next TSHA sponsored show-jumping event which includes Thoroughbred only classes, at Tamworth with the Winter Championships on July 18 to 21.
Other forth-coming competitions include the Waratah Championships in Sydney at Horsley Park August 22 to 25, Spring Championships at Clarendon 31 and September 1, Willinga Showjumping at Bawley Point 12 to 15, Glen Innes Spring show-jumping October 5 to 7, and Tamworth World Cup 10 to 13.
"We are confident that creating a new career after racing is going to be well received within both the racing and equestrian industries, and will become a permanent fixture on many show programs," Krissy said.
"Once we have the show-jumping organised, we will be hoping to cover as many sports as we can so that the Thoroughbreds have lots of choices of competition to suit their riders and their talents."
Vale Peter Norrgard
A FORMER Gosford Race Club (GRC) chairman Peter Norrgard, was reported to Racing NSW to have passed-away recently. I had the pleasure of earlier meeting Peter during his time on the GRC board, a place her served since its inception in 1989. He was elected unopposed to succeed Malcolm Cusick as Chairman in 2005, and also was vice-chairman of the GRC from 1986. Such was Peter's dedication to horse racing he was honoured in 2016 with the Ted McCabe Recognition Award at the Racing NSW Country and Provincial Awards evening held in Sydney each year.