THE Albury Gold Cup Carnival will carry $850,000 in prizemoney next year.
In a huge boost for the revamped event, Racing NSW has injected an additional $305,000 on the back of the country championships heat switching from Wagga to the Border.
Albury Racing Club chief executive John Miller described the increase as a major coup.
“It’s huge for Albury to have two days of racing with $850,000 in prizemoney,” Miller said.
“It will be fantastic.
“You wouldn’t have thought that was possible a few years ago.
“It will provide opportunities for local trainers because the first day has a lot of restricted country only races and it also puts us on the map in attracting metro trainers to town.”
The carnival kicks off on Sunday, March 19, with the SDRA qualifying heat of the country championships.
The Commercial Club Albury Gold Cup (2000m) will be held the following Friday and will carry $180,000 in prizemoney.
The Albury Guineas has jumped from $60,000 to $80,000.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse, Fat Al took out the guineas in 2012 and went on to win the Epsom Handicap at Randwick.
Miller is confident the shift to Sunday-Friday racing will prove a winner.
“It allows the local people to get along to both days,” he said.
“At the moment a lot go to just the one day.
“It’s pretty exciting with the new track and everything else that’s going on.
“The laying of turf should finish tomorrow, followed by a lot of watering and growing in and then the drainage part will continue through January.”
As a mark of respect, the club has named next year’s City Handicap (1175m) after recently-retired president David Wallace.
Wallace was presented the Special Achievement Award at the SDRA awards at Wagga last week.