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Preparations in place for big year at NJC

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Preparations are in place for a big year at the Newcastle Jockey Club (NJC), with racing resuming at the Broadmeadow circuit next week.

Gallopers, trainers and spectators will return trackside on Tuesday 17 January after the course proper recently underwent renovations.

NJC’s first Saturday meeting in 2023 is scheduled for 28 January.

Meanwhile, the club’s feature autumn race, the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap has undergone a name change, as well as a prizemoney boost, in time for its running on 3 March.

And, in another move to continue NJC’s charter to become a more modern and progressive organisation, the event will now be known as the Newcastle Stakes.

NJC
Newcastle Jockey Club chief executive Duane Dowell. Photo: Peter Stoop

“We certainly value and recognise the racing history at Newcastle Racecourse,” Newcastle Jockey Club chief executive Duane Dowell said.

“But, we’ve modified this race name in order to better connect with our city – and the Newcastle Stakes fits that bill.

“Thanks to Racing NSW, there is also a prizemoney boost to $200,000, which will assist in keeping

this time-honoured event in the sights of some of the best horses as they progress through the

Autumn Carnival.”

Initially staged in 1955, the Newcastle Newmarket was run over 1400m, attracting fields that often

featured leading contenders for the Doncaster Mile in Sydney.

“Previous winners include Secret Savings, Platinum Scissors, Bezeal Bay, Patezza and the people’s champ Happy Clapper,” Dowell said.

“Local Kris Lees has won the past four editions of the race with Princess Posh, Special Reward, Gem Song and last year’s winner Wandabaa.”

In a further boost, Horsepower Feeds and Supplements have continued their sponsorship of the Newcastle Stakes in what is their second year partnering with the NJC.

National sales manager Greg Murphy said he was very excited to join forces with the Newcastle Jockey Club again.

“NJC is seen as a progressive organisation in NSW and within the racing industry,” he added.

“So, Horsepower’s delighted to continue its partnership with the club.”

The two-year-old race on the same day (previously The Beaumont Handicap) will also see a name change, recognising legendary mentor Paul Perry.

“Paul was not only best known for his trailblazing achievements at Royal Ascot with Choisir but is also a very good trainer of 2YOs, including 2005 Golden Slipper winner Stratum,” Dowell said.

“The race is a good fit to acknowledge one of Newcastle’s most successful racing identities.

“The newly-named Paul Perry 2YO Handicap (1300m) sits nicely in the autumn scheduling and will likely continue to unearth young stars of the track.”

The day will also host the annual International Women’s Day Luncheon in the Trackside Marquee,

an event that raises significant funds for local charities each year.

Tickets are on sale now… and selling fast.

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