Wagga Harness Racing Track a Group One Event

Media release | 16 January 2019

The future is bright for harness racing in the Riverina, with the new $12 million track at Cartwright’s Hill to host prestigious Group One races from 2020.

Minister for Racing Paul Toole was joined by Nationals Member for the Legislative Council Wes Fang and Nationals Candidate for Wagga Wagga Mackenna Powell to launch the new three-night racing carnival.

Mr Toole said the race event will run each April at the new track, with four Group One races each offering $100,000 prizemoney.

“This modern track combined with the launch of Group One racing will prove to be a real game-changer for harness racing in the Riverina,” Mr Toole said.

“I congratulate Harness Racing NSW on developing this bold new vision which will ensure the sport continues to thrive across the region.”

Harness Racing NSW Chairman Rod Smith said the new Group One racing would continue the strategy of the controlling body to provide for all regions in NSW.

“The start of Group One racing in the Riverina completes our vision to deliver high value races in all our regions, with Sydney hosting the recently announced $1 million Miracle Mile and other Group One events at Bathurst and Newcastle,” Mr Smith said.

“The harness racing industry is also benefitting from Nationals in Government through Tax Parity and the Point of Consumption Tax which will assist to build a stronger code here in NSW.”

Mr Fang said construction of the new paceway was nearing completion with landscaping to still be finished ahead of a gala opening on Sunday 10 March.

“The facility includes a 1000m racetrack with a sprint lane to provide for truly competitive racing, as well as 140 race stalls, improved lighting technology and a special area for mini trots,” Mr Fang said.

Ms Powell said the new track and Group One racing will give local breeders more chances to showcase their quality horses.

“The Riverina already has the state’s strongest base for breeding and stallions,” Ms Powell said.