The iconic Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival will carry record Carnival prize money in 2019 after significant increases were announced by Bathurst Harness Racing Club President Wayne Barker.
Barker declared that the Gold Crown, Gold Tiara, Gold Chalice and Gold Bracelet will all carry Group 1 status prize money of $100,000 as the centerpiece of a wide range of prize money increases for the Carnival.
“Additional prize money will be added to all facets of the Carnival.” Barker said.
“The heats and consolations will also be a beneficiary of the increases, with total Carnival prize money now exceeding $750,000.” Barker added.
“This prize money increase has been delivered through the strong relationship that the Club has with Harness Racing New South Wales. I thank Harness Racing New South Wales for their tremendous support to achieve this outcome.” Barker concluded.
Harness Racing New South Wales, Chairman Rod Smith, stated, “the prize money increase allocated to the Gold Crown Carnival are entirely sustainable and compliment the HRNSW strategy of supporting the breeding sector.
“This increase should be the catalyst for all breeders and existing and potential buyers of yearlings purchased at our sales, to ensure all horses are paid up for the Gold Crown Series.
“This prize money injection is just one part of my Board and Management Team’s focus and long term strategy to grow a stronger harness racing industry in this State.” Smith said.
I thank Harness Racing New South Wales for their tremendous support.Wayne Barker
The Gold Chalice and Bracelet have quickly risen through the rankings over the space of two years, climbing from Group 3 to Group 1 status.
Former Gold Crown winner Peter Trevor-Jones threw his support behind the changes.
The Bathurst trainer said the prize money increase for the three-year-old races will take some pressure off connections.
“When Beetson won the Gold Crown the colts were racing for $100,000 and the fillies for $50,000. That was a big breakthrough when they made the Crown and Tiara even.
“This feels like the next step. Not a great percentage of horses get to race as two-year-olds so I think this is a really great thing to do.
“I saw some statistics saying that around five percent of horses bred race as two-year-olds … so the odds of having a two-year-old winner aren’t great.
“They’ve got to be right mentally, too. I had one I’d bred this year, and loved him, but mentally he just wasn’t ready. Now a horse like him has got a bigger goal to aim for with a Group 1 race.”