The Carnival of Cups meeting is set to attract trainers from further than ever before thanks to the $12-million upgrade of the track and facility at the Riverina Paceway.
"The move to the new complex has seen an influx of visiting trainers from outlying areas who have become more regular competitors," Wagga Harness Racing Club chief executive, Graeme White, said.
"We expect all the major stables to have runners including Steve and Amanda Turnbull who are two of the leading trainers in NSW.
"There will be trainers from Victoria and across NSW with the quality of horses and racing to be extremely high given the prize money on offer."
The meeting boasts more than $90,000 in prize money for the eight races that will be run on Easter Sunday April 21.
This is a new date for the Cup and it's expected to draw huge crowds after the grand opening of the facility attracted more than 3000 people.
"With a public holiday Monday we are expecting another huge crowd," Mr White said.
"One patron will also go in the draw to win a Toyota Yaris as part of the statewide Carnival of Cups series.
"At each Carnival of Cups, a patron is drawn to attend the Harness Racing NSW awards evening where they receive a key which will hopefully unlock the car.
"The Riverina has had a few local winners in recent years so patrons need to make sure they enter on the day. The entry form will be in each of the race books."
The Wagga Cup has been valued at $30,000 for a few years and has also been a Group 3 race in that time.
"Last year the race was won by Our Triple Play at the Wagga Showgrounds who set a track record," Mr White said.
"You would expect with the quality of horse that will be running in the Cup the current track record held by Beetson could be broken.
"Recent winner Beetson is also likely to return for the Cup while Steve Turnbull will have one of the top horses from his stable competing."
The Carnival of Cups is backed by many quality local sponsors with South Wagga Butchery which is owned and operated by Liam Hanigan announced as the naming rights sponsor at Wagga's awards evening last September.
Sponsors for the Carnival of Cups include:
- The Wagga Cup backed by South Wagga Butchery is a Group 3 race carrying prize money of $30,000
- The Duke Of Kent Hotel Wagga Derby at $10,000
- The $10,000 Whitings Dry Cleaning Wagga Oaks
- Feature race Supermix Concrete 2yo Rising Stars
"The other meeting sponsors are Alan Harris McDonald Funeral Directors, Canadian Club, Hillis Motor Group and of course the TAB who put so much into the racing industry," Mr White said.
What you need to know
- Easter Sunday April 21
- Gates open at 11am
- First race around 12.30pm
- $10 entry for adults
- Children under 16 free
- Pensioners receive a $5 rebate
- Members and sponsors receive free entry