On the back of Green’s Moon’s 2011 victory and subsequent Melbourne feature performances, this year’s Tooheys New Newcastle Gold Cup will carry a $200,000 purse.
Newcastle Jockey Club has announced a $15,000 increase for its Group 3 flag-bearer, which highlights a record $953,000 in prizemoney to be offered over the two days of the spring carnival on September 19 and 20. The Cup will be run on Thursday 20 September.
Imported stayer Green Moon, raced by Lloyd and Nick Williams, turned in what many experienced race watchers tagged “the best Newcastle Cup performance in 40 years” at Broadmeadow last year.
He subsequently ran a cracking second to Southern Speed in the Group 1-Caulfield Cup (2400m) and at his only start this autumn won the Group 2-Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
The Newcastle Cup winner again will automatically become exempt from ballot for the Group 1-The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6.
Similarly, winners of the $150,000 Group 3-Patinack Farm Cameron Handicap (1500m) and $175,000 Group 3-Spring Stakes (1600m) will be exempt from ballot for the Group 1-Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1-Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) respectively – both also at Royal Randwick on October 6.
Other important features of the prizemoney increase (up from $857,000 last year) include:-
• Hurricane Stakes (900m) and Spring Provincial Cup (1200m) each going from $30,000 to $45,000; and
• Broadmeadow Mile (1600m) going from $25,000 to $30,000 and run as a Benchmark 75 Handicap (previously Benchmark 70).
No race at the carnival will be worth less than $22,000 and Benchmark races will carry a minimum $24,000 purse. BOBS bonuses will apply to eligible horses for all non-Black Type races.
In another move, the Bill Turner Memorial – usually conducted in winter – has been switched to spring and this year will be run on September 8 as a Benchmark 70 Handicap over the Cup distance of 2300m. The winner will automatically become eligible for a start in the Newcastle Gold Cup.
NJC chief executive, Cameron Williams, said RacingNSW’s recent success in the racefields legislation case had been instrumental in allowing the club to plan for additional prizemoney for the 2012 spring carnival.
“The carnival is perfectly placed as a lead-up to the Sydney spring features and then the Melbourne spring carnival,” Williams said. “We are proud of the fact that we not only have three Group Three races and a Listed race (the $100,000 Patinack Farm Tibbie Stakes) but that those races have proved stepping stones to significant Group One achievements each particular spring and subsequent seasons as well.
“The NJC is especially looking forward to staging a $200,000 Gold Cup and again attracting interstate and New Zealand interest.”