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Scone 'Comes To Life' During Cup Carnival (Fri & Sat)

By Mark Brassel

Scone is an important Hunter Valley town known as ‘The Horse Capital of Australia’ and is reputedly the third-largest horse breeding area in the world after Kentucky in the US and Newmarket in the UK.

And the surrounding districts have some of the country’s longest established pony clubs along with a thriving polo and polocrosse community.

Scone’s Cup Carnival this Friday and Saturday is NSW country’s only stand-alone metropolitan race meeting and is considered the nation’s most prestigious two-day country carnival.

Attendance over the two days is expected to exceed 6,000 – an extraordinary sign of support with the population of Scone just surpassing 5,000 at the last census.

Scone Mayor, Upper Hunter Shire Councillor, Maurice Collison said: “Scone’s Cup Carnival is a wonderful thing for the Hunter Shire.

“The whole town comes to life, and it injects a huge boost into our economy and surrounding areas.

“Racing NSW has been doing great things up here with the new stalls and synthetic track , and the new Equine Centre is an outstanding facility.

“Scone Racetrack is one of the best in Australia and it’s something we all should be proud of – I for one, can’t wait for Friday.”

Major sponsor Darley heads into their eighth year of sponsorship at Scone with tickets to the two days the most sought-after ticket in town.

“The two-day Darley Scone Cup Carnival is the jewel in the crown of country racing in NSW,” said Scone Race Club’s CEO, Jason Hill.

“We’ve received tremendous support over the years from the industry, our partners, members and the local community.

“We hope to do that support justice by putting on a fantastic carnival for our local supporters, and for those visiting us from further afield.”

The Darley Scone Cup Carnival features six Stakes races including the Group 3-Coolmore Dark Jewel Classic and nearly $2.5 million in prizemoney with $700,000 in stakes on Scone Cup Day.

The following day is the Saturday Stand-Alone ‘Metropolitan status’ meeting that offers $1.77 million in prizemoney.

“The roll call of trainers and jockeys to win the feature race, the Coolmore Dark Jewel Classic, shows the significance of the day and the support the region and the club receives,” said Jason Hill.

Winning trainers include Bjorn Baker, John O’Shea, Kris Lees, Ron Quinton, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, Peter Snowden, John Hawkes, Clarry Connors and Rod Northam.

Winning jockeys include Tyler Schiller, James McDonald, Kerrin McEvoy, Darren Beadman, Larry Cassidy and Robert Thompson.

Local performer Katie Jayne will be performing throughout both days with DJ Yianni from Ministry of DJs providing the after-the-last entertainment on Saturday.

There’ll be TAB activations, Lion & Muswellbrook Ford promotions, mobile bars, food trucks, best-dressed prizes, and three big screens plus Scone Race Club’s Ambassador, Australian Jillaroo Yasmin Clydsdale, will be on course engaging with racegoers.

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