Newcastle Jockey Club has announced its spring race dates for 2022 expanding on previous year’s and providing the first uninterrupted season of spring racing events since the start of the COVID pandemic.
The feature days begin with the 2-day Spring Carnival including Sharp Office Newcastle Cup Day on Friday 16th September boasting three Group 3 races and over $900,000 in prizemoney.
The following day is Charlestown Square Ladies Day on Saturday 17th September featuring the Ladies Day Cup and plenty of style and grace that comes with the popular Fashions on the Field.
NJC’s Chief Executive, Duane Dowell said this Carnival will be much different to that of 2021.
“Last year’s carnival was interrupted with COVID lockdowns so we conducted the race meetings with no crowds.”
“This year promises to provide an exciting mix of great racing, fashion and fun.”
While there are other supporting racedays throughout the spring, the next feature day is one which Dowell is particularly excited about.
In a move to revive a traditional and fun raceday, the time-honoured Jungle Juice Cup Day will be held on Saturday 15th October coinciding with Everest Day at Royal Randwick.
“The Jungle Juice Cup Day was previously run at Cessnock until racing ceased there and spent the last two years here at Newcastle on a mid-week date without significant crowds,” Dowell said.
“We needed to make the most of racing on Everest Day here at Newcastle and felt this was a great date to put the Jungle Juice Cup.
“It’s a time-honoured race with a colourful past and a reputation for fun so we want to bring that back to form part of a vibrant spring schedule of feature racedays.
“It fits perfectly on this day and I expect the TLE Jungle Juice Cup Day to be an immediate hit and continue to grow into one of our best supported days of the year.”
The NJC team will then set their sights on the biggest raceday of the year on Saturday 12th November with the stand-alone Saturday ‘The Hunter’ raceday.
With close to $2.5 million in total prizemoney, The Hunter Raceday is quickly becoming one of the biggest social events of the year in the Hunter Region.
“Again we had some restrictions due to COVID last year, however, this year we expect significant interest and growth in 2022,” Dowell added.
“Last year provided some amazing racing stories and those that were lucky enough to secure the limited tickets had a great day. We will go to another level this year.
“It’s a day to showcase what we love about living in the Newcastle and greater Hunter Region.”
The quality of the $1 million The Hunter (1300m) continues to grow with last year’s winner being the John O’Shea-trained Lost And Running, regarded as one of Australia’s best sprinters.
“The form out of The Everest is coming through to The Hunter and last year’s winner was a great example of that. The Hunter is essentially the third leg of a world class sprinters series including The Everest and the Nature Strip Stakes.”
New Zealand Bloodstock have been confirmed as a major partner for the raceday sponsoring eight of the 10 races with the Group 3 3yo Spring Stakes (1600m), The Beauford (2300m), Max Lees 2yo Classic (900m) and The Alf Kneebone Trans-Tasman Trophy (1850m) included in the race program.
In addition, local sporting legend Jack Newton, who sadly passed away in April this year will have a race named in his honour, an idea put forward by Mike Kneebone at New Zealand Bloodstock and embraced by the NJC and Newton family.
“We feel privileged to be able to host such a significant event and are excited about where we can take this day into the future.”
Full list of the major NJC Spring Racedays
Friday 16 September – SHARP OFFICE NEWCASTLE CUP DAY
Saturday 17 September – CHARLESTOWN SQUARE LADIES DAY
Saturday 24 September – TOOHEYS NEWCASTLE RUGBY LEAGUE RACE DAY
Saturday 15 October – TLE NEWCASTLE JUNGLE JUICE CUP DAY
Saturday 29 October – MAITLAND RUGBY CLUB DERBY DAY
Saturday 12 November – THE HUNTER DAY
Sunday 27 November – O’NEILLS TYRES MAITLAND LEGENDS AND COMMUNITY DAY
Saturday 3 December – WESTPAC RESCUE HELICOPTER RACE DAY
Saturday 17 December – TOZER AIR CHRISTMAS CUP RACE DAY
Monday 26 December – BOXING DAY