Taree-Wingham Race Club will host the fourth of eight qualifying heats for the Country Championships on Sunday 26 February.
The best horses trained on the Mid North Coast will compete in the $150,000 qualifier, where the first two finishers earn a place in the $400,000 final at Royal Randwick on Saturday 1 April.
The eight-race Taree meeting is one of Racing NSW’s highly-successful Showcase programs with minimum prizemoney of $30,000 for each race. A total of $370,000 is on the line, the greatest amount of prizemoney ever offered at Taree.
“We successfully hosted the Mid North Coast Country Championships heat last year and we are proud to have been entrusted with this special event again in 2017,” Taree-Wingham Race Club’s CEO, Brian Leggett said. “There has been a lot of interest in the Country Championships from local trainers who have set their horses for the feature and we are expecting a capacity field.”
Off the track there will be an exceptional variety of food and entertainment with town crier Stephen Clarke welcoming racegoers on the day. Bob Berrigan’s Jazz Band will have toes tapping and the whole family will be amazed by the tricks of roving magician Jay Scott-Berry.
Ladies can compete for fantastic prizes and the coveted title of ‘best dressed’ in Fashions on the Field. There will be a giant slide, jumping castle and face painting for the children and the Easter Bunny will make a special visit to the racetrack to distribute chocolate eggs.
Even the delivery of the trophies will be a spectacle – they will be parachuted in during the afternoon. An American-style barbecue, wood-fired pizza, traditional canteen and bars will also be available.
Racegoers will also have the chance to win one of 20 double passes to Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday 1 April where the final of the Country Championships will be run.
The Taree Country Championships will have a charitable aspect with some activities raising funds for Ronald McDonald House. As complimentary tickets for the day are available from clubs and pubs throughout the district, anyone who takes advantage of this offer will be encouraged to make a donation at the gate.
A courtesy bus to the races will be available with pick up points in Wingham, Port Macquarie, Harrington, Old Bar, Tuncurry, Foster and Gloucester.