(Western Advocate, Bathurst)
The inquiries have started in local hotels as punters digest the details of a new $1.3 million race for country NSW thoroughbreds. And Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing track manager Simon Morris says the reaction has been positive from trainers as well.
“Judging from the local trainers that I have spoken to in the last couple of days, they are really excited about it,” he said.
Racing Minister and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole announced last week that The Kosciuszko will become the world’s richest race for country horses when it is run for the first time on Everest Day at Royal Randwick on October 13.
The race will be restricted to NSW country-trained horses and members of the public will be able to buy $5 tickets to win a chance to own a part-share in one of the runners.
Mr Toole was at Tyers Park on Friday morning with Mr Morris, Racing NSW board member Saranne Cooke and Bathurst Liquor Accord president Robert “Stumpy” Taylor to emphasise the boost he says the bush will receive from the race: “This can be life-changing, not only for the punter, but also for the owner of a country-trained horse,” he said.
Tickets in The Kosciuszko promotion are being sold at all NSW Australian Hotels Association pubs that have a TAB outlet. Twelve winning tickets will be drawn on September 14 and each winning ticket holder will then have a “slot” in The Kosciuszko and will be able to select a NSW country-trained horse to race as their entry, subject to agreeing with the horse’s owners as to how they will share the prizemoney for the race. Racing NSW will be able to help the ticket holders choose a horse, if needed.
Mr Taylor said inquiries were being made in local pubs about the tickets. One of the best aspects of the race, he said, was that a winning ticket holder could be anywhere in the state: ”You can have a little country town with 500 people in it and someone there can win a slot,” he said.
Racing NSW and the AHA have also pledged $150,000 from the ticket sales towards the Aussie Helpers charity, which assists farmers. Mr Toole also announced that prizemoney across all thoroughbred races will increase by almost $24 million annually.