Newcastle and Kembla Grange are to get $1 million races in the spring in conjunction with stand-alone Saturday race meetings.
Racing NSW has announced the $1 million Hunter (1300m) at Newcastle on November 16 and the $1 million The Gong (1600m) a week later following the Everest carnival in Sydney.
All support races on the provincial programs will carry Saturday metropolitan prize money of $125,000.
“These new race days will provide the chance for Newcastle and Wollongong to shine as the feature NSW meetings immediately following The Everest Carnival,” Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding said..
“Racing is a vital part of our social fabric and it is fitting that Newcastle and Wollongong as our next largest cities after Sydney will now have race days that they can be proud of.
“These meetings are a great opportunity for new racegoers in these cities to attend a feature event and see what racing is all about. Just as the Sydney public has embraced The Everest, we are confident that the Newcastle and Illawarra public will embrace The Hunter and The Gong as their races.”
The Hunter and The Gong will be quality handicaps.
Another provincial club, Gosford, will also host a stand-alone Saturday meeting from next year with the Gosford Gold Cup meeting to be run after the Sydney autumn carnival on May 9.