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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, July 3, 2019

When it comes to innovation, stakes increases, drive, energy … whatever facet of racing administration you want to name … Racing NSW is not merely leading the pack it is galloping right away from the every other state and disappearing off into the distance.

Racing NSW’s announcement, earlier this week, of a $1.6 million prize-money boost to be spread across twenty country meeting race-days is just the latest in a long line of progressive steps taken to enhance and promote their product … and they, in words of their CEO, ‘are not finished yet’.

Included in that announcement was the unveiling of yet another a new race concept to be known as the Country Magic. This series, which would be restricted to country trainers only, would be conducted at each of the twenty meetings in question with the individual races to be worth $50,000 each.

Country trainers already had been extremely well catered for in NSW as country trained horses were already front and centre stage in the $1.3 million Kosciusko, the Country Championships and the TAB Highway races … and the Country Magic will provide further incentive and security for country trainers who will be locked in their own private competition, free from the threat of any big city stable raiders.


Peter V’landys, the CEO of Racing NSW, (speaking to Sky Racing) laid out Racing NSW’s motivation and methodology for the latest boost for country racing.

“It is very important for us to have presence throughout NSW. We have gone into partnership with Destination NSW to make these event tourism events where people will come and spend money in the local economy … but it is also a celebration for these country towns.

“The local race-meeting is everything to them. So, we want to make it attractive to get everybody celebrating their local community and engaging in racing.

“The biggest investment we have made in NSW is in country racing. We have increased it by 141%. It has gone to $81 million a year from $37 million a year. So, we have really focussed on it and will continue to focus on it.

“This is the first announcement. We will look at other country events over time and increase their presence and increase their prize-money so they’ve got the same celebration every other region in NSW.

“We will use out marketing expertise here at Racing NSW. We are going to put a team together purely to promote these country events. We’ll have a dedicated team that will get all of the local communities engaged.

“It’s all about the local communities. It’s not about us. It’s about them having a celebration. It’s about them getting involved in racing. It’s about them getting the shop fronts all done up and having the people all get dressed up.

“One of the very important aspects of this is to get the younger demographic. They do dress up and go to the races. We are just giving them more encouragement to do so.

“It is no good just having a presence in the Metropolitan area. We are called Racing NSW. We are throughout NSW. We’ve worked very hard to get an event throughout NSW.

“It’s a big geographical area. It is a hard task … and, as I said, this is the first of a number of announcements.

“We are not finished yet.”

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