NSW Premier Mike Baird, Minister for Racing Troy Grant and Chairman of Racing NSW John Messara today announced that, following NSW Government support, Sydney’s signature Autumn Racing Carnival event “The Championships” has been secured for 2015.
Mr Baird said today the NSW Government would invest $10 million towards staging The Championships 2015.
“The Championships will become Racing’s premier event in NSW and the NSW Government is proud to be supporting its continuation,” he said.
“This year over 50,000 people attended the two-day event and, with greater brand awareness and more time to prepare, next year’s event is only going to be bigger and better.
“The NSW Government is continuing to work with Racing NSW regarding state wagering tax harmonisation with Victoria and Queensland.
“Any investment in The Championships would come from any proceeds of a potential harmonisation.
“The NSW Government want a strong and viable racing industry throughout NSW,” Mr Baird said.
The $10 million investment will be directed towards the following activities:
- A new permanent quarantine station to allow foreign horses to participate in racing in NSW year round without having to go through Victoria;
- A regional racing carnival that will culminate in Country winning horses running at a signature regional horse race at Randwick during the Championships; and
- Marketing and promotion to maximise visitor numbers from overseas, interstate and regional NSW.
Mr Grant said that, while The Championships were the jewel in the State’s racing crown, he remained focussed on the long-term sustainability of racing in NSW.
“All three racing codes are significant contributors to the cultural and economic fabric of our community, particularly in regional NSW,” Mr Grant said.
“The Championships is a signature event, but I am keen to keep working with the industry to achieve long term sustainability in racing.”
Chairman of Racing NSW John Messara said that today’s announcement would provide certainty to the industry, participants and sponsors and enable Racing NSW to maintain last year’s prize-money levels for the Championships.
“I applaud the Premier and the NSW Government for seeing clear potential to build The Championships into a truly world class event,” Mr Messara said.
“Acknowledgement also needs to be given to Mr Grant, who continues to work tirelessly to benefit racing throughout NSW.”