$2.8million funding injections to the NSW harness racing industry

20 February 2018

HARNESS racing participants in New South Wales will be the recipients of a $2.8million injection in prizemoney initiatives commencing from July 1 as announced by HRNSW Chairman Mr Rod Smith today.

The raft of initiatives cover the broader industry as the HRNSW Board, working collaboratively with the Club Menangle Directors and respective executive managements on funding aspects, also took into consideration the needs of all stakeholder groups.

These prizemoney increases should encourage existing and potential owners to invest in yearlings at the Australian Pacing Gold and Bathurst yearling sales in February and March respectively, particularly yearlings eligible for the 2019 Alabar Breeders Challenge and Bathurst Gold Crown Series.

“Breeders can now look to the future and ensure all foals are paid up for the various NSW futurity series, as no doubt buyers will be very interested in eligible yearlings with the half-a-million dollar combined increase for the Breeders Challenge and Gold Crown,” said Mr Smith.

In partnership with Club Menangle midweek prizemoney will increase to $9,000 per race.

“My Board Members are extremely appreciative of the Club Menangle team led by Ray Sharman and Bruce Christison for working with John (Dumesny – HRNSW chief executive) towards a more productive racing calendar for the Sydney area but more so for the Club’s on-top contribution to the standard $6,500 per race funding for the Tuesday meetings,” said Mr Smith.

Whilst there are increases to the Alabar Breeders Challenge and Bathurst Gold Crown series, owners and trainers have not been forgotten especially owners who may not have horses in the top category with the introduction of a new ‘Reward Series’ with regional and provincial heats and finals ($10,000) as a reward for continuing to be involved in the industry.

“The Reward Series will allow owners of Australian bred and NSW trained horses to compete at the lowest entry level for better prizemoney but to also earn $6,000 in Owners and Breeders Bonuses,” explained Mr Smith.

The funding injection will benefit breeders, owners, trainers and drivers with the further contribution of Clubs which are willing to add value to base prizemoney offered at non-feature race meetings.

“Where a Club is to conduct a standard race meeting, eight races at $6,000 per race, HRNSW will offer additional monies to be matched by the Club for a single race on that programme,” said Mr Smith.

In making the announcement Mr Smith stated HRNSW is confident the injection of funding will continue into the future whilst wagering revenue through Tabcorp, corporate operators and tax parity streams remain consistent.

“The HRNSW Board and management will continue to monitor wagering revenue streams and provided future financial commitments which can be adequately accommodated through surplus funds that are returned to the industry stakeholders in various forms be that through administrative assistance, infrastructure improvements or prizemoney,” concluded Mr Smith.

  • The $2.8 million funding is provided through:
  • $600,000              Club Menangle funding of M1 races and increased prizemoney for Tuesday meetings to $9,000 per race in partnership with HRNSW.
  • $600,000              Convert all $3,500 (R penalty) race meetings to minimum $5,000 (C penalty) race meetings and increase the allocation of $6,000 (C penalty) race meetings.
  • Note: There will still be some individual “R” races for $3500 as Heats into Finals and as lead up races to support the likes of the Canola Cup.
  • $300,000              Three-Year-Old Fillies and Mares funding for dedicated racing calendar. (Similar to the Two-Year-Old Calendar with guaranteed races if six original nominations are received)
  • $300,000              Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge funding increase from 2019 in consultation with the Harness Breeders NSW and the NSW Standardbred Owners Associations.
  • $200,000              Bathurst Golds Crown Carnival funding increase from 2019 in consultation with the Bathurst Harness Racing Club and industry stakeholders.
  • $100,000              Group 2 funding increases for Pink Bonnet, Sapling Stakes, Rod Fitzpatrick, Raith Memorial and the Simpson, Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan Sprints.
  • $200,000              Regional Rewards Series of Heats and Finals to accommodate four-year-old and upwards C0 horses which are Australian bred and physically trained in NSW by HRNSW licenced trainers. (Heats $3,500 and Finals $10,000)
  • $300,000              Non feature race meetings prizemoney boost in conjunction with Clubs.
  • $200,000              Cups Series in Metropolitan and Country Regions incorporating established and new feature races. For example the Shirley Turnbull Memorial, Renshaw Cup, Treuer Memorial, Newcastle Mile and Riverina Cups (Goulburn, Young, Wagga).






Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government.


To arrange an interview or for further information please contact:


(02) 9722 6600 •  arando@hrnsw.com.au •  @Amanda_Rando