The richest country racing carnival in Australia, the Darley Scone Cup Carnival, is once again going from strength to strength, with a further increase of $90,000 in prizemoney making it a legitimate $2 million two-day carnival.
The carnival kicks off on Friday May 12, with Darley Scone Cup Raceday followed with the further riches of Inglis Guineas/Emirates Park Dark Jewel Raceday on Saturday May 13.
With eight races on the program for each day of the carnival, the Darley Scone Cup (Listed race), Inglis 2YO Challenge and Pryde’s EasiFeed Noel Leckie Country Cup will highlight Friday's card.
Saturday's Inglis Guineas/Emirates Park Dark Jewel Day is littered with black type racing with the Emirates Park Dark Jewel Classic (Group 3), $400,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas (Restricted Listed), Yarraman Park-Horsepower Luskin Star Stakes (Listed), Arrowfield Ortensia Stakes (Listed), Segenhoe Woodlands Stakes (Listed) and Coolmore Denise’s Joy Stakes (Listed) helping amass $1.4m in prizemoney for this high quality metropolitan status meeting.
Scone Race Club's CEO, Heath Courtney, said: “This Carnival is a huge credit to our loyal band of sponsors and dedicated committee for which the Club and our stakeholders are very grateful. A lot of hard work is devoted to making this Carnival the showpiece that it is, though without the local horse studs, sales company, feed companies and associated businesses significant involvement, this stand-alone meeting would not be possible.
"On the back of a tremendous sales season this Carnival also emphasises the importance of the Hunter Valley to both the breeding and racing industries, at national and international levels.
“This Carnival is now attracting national and international attention with our stand-alone metropolitan status and the Carnival’s association with some of the most renowned names in the international racing and breeding industries.
"There has been much talk in the media over recent weeks in regards to horses targeting the riches of the Scone Carnival. Early indications are that there will be a large number of nominations, with high profile horses and trainers again to be prominent among acceptors."
The official world number one jockey, Hugh Bowman, will hopefully be back in Scone chasing his hat-trick of Golden Whip Awards this year. A beautifully mounted Golden Whip trophy provided by the Macintyre family is awarded to the most successful jockey over the two-day Carnival based on a points system. The inaugural winner in 2014 was Kerrin McEvoy, with the last two year’s being secured by Bowman.
The prestigious Emirates Airline Fashions On The Field competition will again be held on both racedays. Emirates Airline and helloworld Scone continue to be our major sponsors, offering a trip for two, flying business class, to New Zealand, with thousands of dollars in other prizes up for grabs from other valued sponsors across the two days.
"Marquee ticket sales have been as strong as ever and we expect to be close to full capacity in all function areas come early May. So please get your tickets now if you are intending on joining us for 'City Class racing, Country style'," said Mr Courtney.
Buses will again be available to take patrons to and from the racecourse from various locations around our region. Details of these services are on sconeraceclub.com.au
The Darley Scone Cup Carnival forms the penultimate event of the Scone & Upper Hunter Horse Festival which is a two-week celebration of the horse, commencing on May 4.
“The Carnival is still very much a community-focused event, with locals anticipated to again be squeezing into every corner of the facility to cheer home the Darley Scone Cup winner on the half-day public holiday Friday, with local businesses benefitting from the thousands of visitors to our region."