Canberra Steps Up To Fill Highway Void

The Canberra Racing Club has moved decisively to fill the void left when Racing NSW excluded local trainers from its Highway races for country-trained gallopers.

The Club has announced the introduction of ‘The Federal’ — a $40,000 dollar race to be conducted at each of the Club’s 25 race programs.

Furthermore there will be $10,000 in bonus monies for Canberra-trained horses only, split on a 60%, 30%, 10% basis for the first three locals across the line. Horses finishing further back than 10th are not eligible to receive the bonus.

Club CEO Peter Stubbs says the races will be cover a mix of grades, but will be predominately for horses around the 55 to 65 benchmark level. He says the concept could also be utilised to raise prizemoney for lesser races on major race days and the Tony Campbell Cup.

Eligibility to compete in The Federal/s is restricted to Canberra trained-horses and NSW Country-trained horses, with ballot preference given to horses with a Canberra training location.

Canberra Racing Club Chairman Paul Meiklejohn says “… the new race will not only support the Canberra Trainers and their ownership-base, but it will also provide an added opportunity for Country NSW Trainers and their ownership-base to compete for higher prize money.

“In coming to the decision to implement The Federal concept, the Committee was mindful of the impact of the decision to make Canberra-trained horses ineligible for the Racing NSW Highway races — and the impact this could have on the ownership- base and training businesses of Canberra’s trainers. 

“Prizemoney is a significant economic driver of the racing industry and is important that the ACT Thoroughbred racing industry participants have similar opportunities to those on offer at other racing jurisdictions.

“The Club Committee is committed to supporting Thoroughbred racing in the ACT and the surrounding NSW country area to ensure a strong and sustainable racing industry.

“Hopefully The Federal will boost trainers and ownership in Canberra with a flow-on benefit to the regional area.”

The first Federal will be run on 5 January 2018.