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    $1million bonus up for grabs $1million bonus up for grabs
    THE biggest bonus prize pool in Australian harness racing history will be up for grabs when the Harness Racing New South Wales Carnival of... $1million bonus up for grabs

    THE biggest bonus prize pool in Australian harness racing history will be up for grabs when the Harness Racing New South Wales Carnival of Cups series returns in September.

    An unprecedented $1million will be paid out to the connections of any horse that wins the feature race at all five legs of the Carnival of Cups series.

    It is a significant increase on the racing incentive scheme which underpinned the revamped Carnival of Cups program in 2023-24.

    The second season will return in Parkes on September 20 before moving to Young on November 8. The third leg will be hosted by Tamworth on the Club’s Golden Guitar heats night on January 17. The Carnival of Cups then heads to Albury on February 14, setting up for what shapes as the ultimate race for the million dollars at the Renshaw Cup at Penrith on March 14.

    Any horse that wins all five feature races will win the $1million bonus. There will be a $500,000 bonus for any horse that wins four legs of the series. A horse that wins three of the five legs will win a $250,000 bonus. That is in addition to the $60,000 prizemoney available for each of the feature races.

    “This is ground-breaking for harness racing not just here in Australia but globally. It is the most significant prize incentive scheme ever offered in the history of our sport,” HRNSW Chief Executive Peter Buckman said.

    “When we brought back the Carnival of Cups in a revamped format, we ensured the trackside offering for new and existing patrons was best in class with all ages entertainment and live concert performances from Australian music royalty – all provided to the public for free. This bonus will now ensure the on-track product in harness racing heartland goes to a whole new level.

    “Our leading owners, trainers and drivers now have a million-dollar reason to be taking their best horses to the Carnival of Cups series and showcasing their talents across regional New South Wales.

    “With this kind of money up for grabs the challenge and the incentive is there for Australia’s best trainers and horses to head to the five Carnival of Cups venues, make history and a lot of money in the process by chasing the million-dollar bonus.”

    More than 24,000 patrons attended the five FREE events that formed Season 1 of the new Carnival of Cups format, with trackside entertainment provided by some of the biggest names in Australian music. That number is expected to be exceeded considerably in Season 2.

    Rock royalty The Living End and Shannon Noll have already been announced as the headline acts for Parkes, while Daryl Braithwaite will be the star attraction in Tamworth – with the Carnival of Cups now positioned as one of the official opening night events of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

    A list of a high-profile bands and performers have already been locked in for other venues, with those announcements to be made in the coming weeks.

    New hosts Parkes and Penrith will bookend the new series, to be run entirely under lights in premier Friday night Sky Racing timeslots commencing on September 20.

    “Season 1 was just the building blocks for even bigger and better things to come. We have signed some massive music acts already and the demand for those tickets has been unprecedented so far. Best of all it’s free for everyone to attend!” Buckman said.

    “What is clear is the Carnival of Cups has now got people talking. The racing industry. The music industry. And most of all communities who are coming together for a great night at the track and investing in harness racing. On and off the track the Carnival of Cups in 2024-25 is going to bigger and better than ever before.”

    • HRNSW Media

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