Issued: Friday 22 August 2014 [PDF,90kb]
Minister for Racing Troy Grant today announced the development of a new race for NSW country trained horses which will be held on the first day of The Championships in 2015.
Minister Grant said the Country Championships Final will run over 1400 metres at Royal Randwick on 4 April 2015 offering $300,000 in prize money.
"The field for The Country Championships Final will be drawn from a qualifying series of seven races, staged in March 2015, one each in the seven racing regions across country NSW," Mr Grant said
"Regional qualifiers will be drawn exclusively from horses trained in that region, with each race carrying $100,000 in prize money, with a total of $1 million up for grabs for country horses.
"Regional qualifying races are planned to be run at Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, Bathurst, Dubbo, Tamworth, Grafton and Port Macquarie.
"The winner and second placed horse in each of the regional qualifiers will progress to The Country Championships Final.
"The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is focused on the long term viability of racing in NSW and having country horses race for significant prize money and a place at Royal Randwick highlights the important contribution of country racing.
Racing NSW Chief Executive Mr Peter V’landys, AM welcomed the announcement by the Minister.
"His passion for country racing will see an unprecedented opportunity for country participants to race for aspirational prize money.
"Racing NSW will now fast-track the organisation of Country Showcase race meetings and a Provincial Championships Final is also in development," Mr V’landys said.
"Following consultation with country participants, further details of The Country Championships and race series will be released next week.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Mr Darren Pearce looks forward to welcoming horses and supporters from throughout NSW to The Championships.
"The Australian Turf Club fully supports the Country Championships and the opportunity to showcase the best of NSW’s country racing at world famous Royal Randwick when the eyes of the world will be on us," Mr Pearce said.
"We are excited to develop opportunities to promote and boost Country Racing and The Championships in tandem so we all share in the benefits of the Baird Government’s support," he said.
Media: Tess Salmon 0467 740 017