GOULBURN and District Racing Club has the honour of opening the curtain on the 2016 Country Championships on Saturday, February 20.
Goulburn will stage the first of eight $100,000 qualifying races with first and second in each heat heading to Royal Randwick on Saturday April 2 to compete for a $400,000 purse – increased $100,000 this year by Racing NSW – in the Country Championships Final (1400m).
To ensure the meeting is a showcase event, Racing NSW has lifted prizemoney for each of the seven supporting races from $15,000 to $20,000.
“We are pleased that a progressive and enthusiastic race club such as Goulburn will kick off this year’s second Country Championships,” said Racing NSW Chief Executive, Mr Peter V’landys AM.
“Goulburn has a top class racetrack and great facilities that regularly attracts city-trained gallopers. The $100,000 Country Championships Qualifier is certain to attract an excellent field and a large crowd, which in turn provides a boost to the community.
“The involvement of Country and Provincial participants has been overwhelmingly successful and with Racing NSW injecting a further $100,000 into each Final, the concept will reach greater heights.”
Goulburn’s Country Championships Qualifier can be contested by horses based in the South East Racing Association’s jurisdiction that are Class Five and below and have not started in more than 20 races prior to regional qualifying race.
Scone will run their Qualifier the following day on Sunday (February 21), with Wagga, Taree, Grafton, Wellington, Dubbo and Muswellbrook (‘Wild Card’) following suit.
Each of the 12 race clubs staging a Country and Provincial Championships Day will host an excellent day of racing and live entertainment with an array of food and beverages available. Goulburn is offering a complimentary barbecue*, live entertainment with ‘Blazing Boots’, The G Clothing Store’s Fashions on the Field, a kids’ petting nursery, a jumping castle and pony rides. The 2016 The Championships will be held on Saturday April 2 and 9 at Royal Randwick, where the 12 grand finals of Australian Thoroughbred racing will be centre stage incorporating eight Group One events as well as the second running of the Provincial & Country Championships Finals. (*while stocks last)