14 October 2023

Who will win? Charities named in the race for funds on community day at Thoroughbred Park

| Dione David
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People dressed up for race day at Thoroughbred Park

The Canberra Community Chest race day is earmarked as spring’s answer to Black Opal. Photo: Thoroughbred Park.

An independent selection panel has chosen 11 of 12 community partners to share in a major new Canberra Racing Club spring race day event.

The Canberra Community Chest race day will be held on Saturday, 25 November, at Thoroughbred Park, with 12 community organisations sharing in a fifth of a $250,000 prize pool – a community chest worth $50,000.

ACT Volunteer Brigades Association, Belconnen Magpies Football Club, Canberra Hospital Foundation, Good Omen Goodeze Inc, Lifeline Canberra, Riding for the Disabled of the ACT Incorporated (Pegasus), Roundabout Canberra, The Daniela Dwyer Foundation, The Ricky Stuart Foundation, Western District Rugby Union Football Club and Win the Day were selected from 30 applications and will receive tiered winnings ranging from $25,000 for first place down to $1000 each for the last six places.

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Thoroughbred Park marketing and sponsorship manager Robbie Ringland said the panel of three – Canberra Business Chamber chair Archie Tsirimokos, Region group editor Genevieve Jacobs and Clubs ACT operations manager Kate Palmer – had their work cut out for them.

“Each of the organisations had to respond to a list of criteria to display a meaningful connection to the Canberra community,” he said.

“We had 30 applicants – all really strong and each with their own compelling case. It was a difficult task for the committee, but the final 11 are a great list that the Canberra Racing Club are very pleased to be able to support.”

A people’s choice award will determine the 12th and final beneficiary via public voting that is now open and will close on 10 November.

“We’re looking forward to finding out who the Canberra community selects as the 12th community partner for this event,” Mr Ringland said.

“Every applicant is deserving, so there can be no wrong answers.”

Lady standing with colourful Canberra Hospital Foundation heart mascot

The Canberra Hospital Foundation is one of 11 worthy community and charity partners chosen by an independent selection committee as an inaugural Canberra Community Chest race day beneficiary. Photo: Canberra Hospital Foundation.

The charity race will be a Quality Open Handicap over 1400 metres. A draw the week before will place each of the 12 organisations with the 12 “equine heroes” racing on their behalf.

The day will also feature a second “Single Gaze” Benchmark 75 for Fillies and Mares over 1200 metres worth $40,000, named after Nick Olive-trained Group 1 winner, Single Gaze, who finished runner-up in the 2016 Caulfield Cup.

The event is earmarked to become spring’s answer to the jewel in the Canberra Racing Club crown – the Black Opal Stakes.

Canberra Racing Club Chief Executive Darren Pearce said while he “certainly didn’t envy the job of the independent selection committee” who chose the applicants, the response indicated strong potential for the race day to grow in years to come.

“It is our ultimate hope that the $50,000 chest for partners can grow to match the race prize money on offer,” he said.

“We are focused on being a positive force within the Canberra community and look forward to providing a wonderful opportunity for everyone to enjoy top-class racing with purpose.”

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Robbie said their ambitions for the event were lofty but achievable.

“We have high hopes for this event. We had about 7500 attendees this year at the Black Opal Stakes. We want to get this community-focused event to that level in the coming years, and the early response gives us confidence we can do it,” he said.

“The racing industry is a generous one. We believe this is a strong innovation that will allow us to share that with the community, which is a high priority for our club.

“Partnering with these great organisations also helps us reach new audiences and gives people a compelling reason to discover the world-class racing on offer here in Canberra. ”

The big day will include live music, food vans, roving entertainers and a variety of activations from the charity partners.

“We have a strong domestic and international viewership and hope to leverage that to provide these community partners with more value beyond their share of the $50,000 community purse,” Robbie said.

“We hope that offering a platform to get their brand in front of new eyes will ultimately bring them as much value as the prize money itself.”

Canberra Community Chest race day will be held on Saturday, 25 November, at Thoroughbred Park, 1 Randwick Road, Lyneham. Visit Thoroughbred Park for more information, or cast your vote for the 12th beneficiary.

Original Article published by Dione David on Riotact.

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