There’s no doubt the recent success of standalone country carnivals in New South Wales has got many people talking and the possibility of expansion is gaining pace.
Trainers, jockey’s, officials and most importantly punters all benefitted from the meetings and the town’s themselves earned a huge windfall.
Support for more of the same has also come from racehorse owners with Ray McDowell from the New South Wales Owners Association throwing his weight behind the idea.
“Wagga was fantastic but Scone was out of this world,” he said.
“Country racing has done a great job and the people at Scone have done an outstanding job.”
He’s well aware of the massive amount of work it takes to get a carnival up and running but the results speak for themselves.
“There would have been two or three years work to get that meeting on,” he said.
The most recent town to be lining up a standalone meeting has come from Victoria with Bendigo at the top of the queue.
There’s never been a better time to capitalise on the success of the racing industry with country racing firing and of course the national popularity of Black Caviar.
“I was lucky enough to be upstairs when Black Caviar came on, you could have heard a pin drop in the room when the barriers opened,” he said.
McDowell was also spruiking the success of the BOBS schemes which has further boosted the incentives for country trainers and owners.
“The BOBS Extra scheme was designed by the owners association, it was for longevity of horses to race past the mile,” he said.
“Without the BOBS and the BOBS Extra we’d be really struggling to say the least.”
Racing New South Wales has said they currently have no propositions to expand beyond the current country racing calendar with Victorian country towns seeming the most likely.