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Darwin Cup Carnival programme

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Posted by TRNT

Date posted:

As you will appreciate, it has been necessary to amend the programme for these months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fact that the Carnival will, in effect, be an NT Carnival for locals only (with a few possible exceptions). I am appreciative of the advice and co-operation that industry participants have provided in recent times when contacted to discuss programmes.

The Board of TRNT, in its endeavours to ensure that racing could continue for its participants, have had to make some hard decisions in amending the programme – as you will imagine, with no raceday crowds or events (at this stage), almost non-existent sponsorship and membership dollars, and no events external to racedays, both the ASTC and DTC are experiencing real hardship when it comes to the revenues they can expect to receive during this trying period.

As you already know, the AS Cup Carnival has been able to continue with an identical programme to that published in the latest Trackside magazine (edition 37). However, some stakemoney reductions, to the tune of about $200,000, have had to be made.

The Darwin Cup Carnival, however, could not continue as programmed due to many factors, including:
• Lack of horse numbers due to travel restrictions – estimated to be around 200 rather than the usual 300 horses for Carnival
• Reduction in racedays to reflect the reduced horse numbers
• Stakemoney/subsidy savings – these are required to support both clubs and participants should the pandemic continue for some time to come.

Therefore, the attached programme looks very different to what was initially published, and includes:
• Seven meetings through June-July-1st week of August, instead of the usual 12
• Three meetings in June – 6 June, 17 June and 27 June – with 11 and 10 days respectively between meetings
• There will be six races per day at the three June meetings
• Four Carnival days – 4 July (Guineas Day, 8 races), 11 July (CM Cup Day, 7 races), July 22 (Metric Mile/Derby Day, 7 races) and 3 August (Cup/Sprint Day, 10 races)
• The Darwin Cup and its traditional lead-ups to remain over the same distances. The Buntine will not be run this year
• The Guineas and Derby to be reduced in distance – the Guineas will be 1300m and the Derby 1600m – due to the expected shortage of 3yos. They will still be 3yo set weight events as normal
• Adelaide River race meeting (30 May) abandoned and will not be replaced this year
• TRNT Board has approved race divisions if they are necessary due to excess nominations

There have been some stakemoney reductions to the major races, although the ratings-based races on each card, with the exception of Cup Day, remain the same ($20,000). The Cup Day ratings-based races have been reduced from $30,000 to $25,000.
Unplaced owners’ subsidies will remain at $550 per unplaced runner, while the jockeys’ riding fee remains unchanged at $260 plus superannuation.
The changes explained above have been necessary to allow racing to continue during this time for the benefit of all participants – we are fully aware that the amendments to the programme will not suit everyone, but I trust that you will support the changes for the overall good of the industry.
We need to continue racing, if at all possible, to allow participants to earn a living, and rest assured that the Board of TRNT is committed to this happening. The Board is also acutely aware of the monetary stress that the clubs are under, and will be doing whatever it can to alleviate the pressure on the clubs, including the country clubs.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely
Andrew O’Toole
Chief Executive




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