Wagga Harness Racing Club (WHRC) are looking to make this year's group one Riverina Championships a Saturday night spectacular.
The final of this year's Riverina Championships carnival has been moved to a Saturday night, where the meeting will take the place of the usual Menangle metropolitan meeting.
Not only will the meeting feature the two group one $100,000 Riverina Championships finals for four and five-year-olds, but it will also be the new home of the $30,000 Wagga Pacers Cup.
Last year's meeting, the first running of the Riverina Championships, was an Easter Sunday day meeting where warm weather had an effect on crowd numbers.
New WHRC chief executive Greg Gangle will oversee his first Riverina Championships this year and believes the shift to Saturday night is a big win.
"I think it's fantastic. I think it shows a lot of foresight from the club and from Harness Racing NSW to push it to a night meeting," Gangle said.
"Especially given the fact that Club Menangle does not race that Saturday night so the spotlight is really going to be on us, which is just fantastic and I think we're going to attract a lot of horses and a lot of participants from the Menangle region.
"I treat it as a night to shine. We're going to do everything in our power just to promote it to do everything we can to make sure the night is an overwhelming success. I think we just want to continue to build on last year."
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Heats of the group one features will be held at Riverina Paceway on Friday April 8. The finals will then be held eight days later on Saturday night, April 16.
Not only will there be two $100,000 group one finals and the $30,000 Wagga Pacers Cup, but it will also feature two consolation finals worth $14,500 to the winning connections.
Gangle believes the night will succeed on many fronts.
"I'm absolutely ecstatic with having the night carnival for a couple of different reasons," he said.
"With the spotlight on us, Menangle not going, everything is coming into place and I think the coverage is going to be spectacular, the wagering turnover is going to be spectacular going on a Saturday night and it's the one day of the year in my opinion that we're going to shine."
The club plans on promoting the night as one of family fun and are also planning to host live entertainment.
HRNSW chief executive John Dumesny is looking forward to the second edition of the carnival.
"After the frustration of having to cancel the inaugural running of the Riverina Championships we could not have been happier with how the public responded and really embraced the event last year," Dumesny said.
"It has well and truly established itself as one of the marquee family events on the Easter weekend. So we're delighted to confirm it is back and this year we're confident with a shift to twilight racing it will be even bigger and better in 2022."
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